Google and partners create PAX: The Android Networked Cross-License Agreement

In an effort to promote growth and build a safe harbor against patent litigation, Google and some of its major partners have created PAX.

PAX is the latest cross-licensing patent initiative where members provide royalty-free use of patents that cover everything Android-related. The companies involved feel that this will help keep innovation coming, spur future growth, and protect against legal threats across the board.

PAX members currently include Google, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Foxconn Technology Group, HMD Global, HTC, Coolpad, BQ, and Allview. The members collectively own more than 230,000 patents worldwide. As more companies join, PAX will bring even more patent peace and value to its members through more freedom to innovate.

Android itself is free to use and over 400 partners are taking advantage of this. In 2016 there were more than 4,000 "major" devices running Android released and there are more than 1.6 billion people using them. That's a big draw for any company, no matter how large or small it may be right now. An agreement like PAX can help them all focus on spending time and money to drive their business instead of in court.

In the end, this should be a boon for consumers as well. When companies feel free to use and develop new ideas and features without the fear of standing alone in the face of a legal battle, the things we buy get better and better. Look for more companies to join the PAX initiative as time goes on.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Hopefully Apple and Microsoft joins sooner. As well as Nokia
  • Not sure about Apple. Here's hoping.
  • "patents that cover everything Android-related". Although I would love to see something more encompassing, there is little benefit (and much to lose) for Apple and Microsoft in this instance.
  • there is no incentive for MS to join pax. Apple maybe.
    Ms would rather push bloats in to android devices
  • Microsoft's apps are really good.
  • "Microsoft's apps are really good." What MS apps are good? Not my experience.
  • All of the office ones.
  • Thx! I am now so use to using Google Apps have not used MS Office for awhile. Kids schools is Google eccosystem so they all now use Google Apps. I no longer get the MS Office subscription.
  • Apple would definitely not join. They had in the past been the one suing Android manufacturers for patent issues.
  • I doubt you will see them join. They use patents to impede technology not push it forward. It is ironic that Google is leading this effort as Google on paper like Apple and MS are the type of companies that abuses the patent system. The idea was without patents companies would not invest into innovation. But with technology it does not work as it was suppose to. Honestly we should consider scrapping some types of patents with technology.
  • Good deal, great to see this.
  • First thought was "Why is Penny Arcade involved in licensing with Android?"
  • Thank god it wasn't just me. I think Google might need to change the name of this initiative to avoid confusion.
  • This might turn out really good for HTC.
  • Like mentioned above, I thought about Penny Arcade too haha. Should they sue Google? :P
  • This is great news for the consumer. Patents are not simply an issue with patent trolls but the bigger issue is big companies using to control markets. It is rather ironic that Google is leading this as they are the type of company that is usually the abuser. Clearly the patent system in tech does not work. Hopefully Google can get more to join and enable companies competing on merit versus silliness.