IT giants Cisco and Google have entered into a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement covering 'a broad range of products and technologies'.
The agreement aims to help reduce the risk of future patent lawsuits and 'patent privateering' - where a third-party is authorised to use IP to attack other firms.
"Our agreement with Cisco will reduce the potential for litigation, letting us focus instead on building great new products," said Allen Lo, Google's Deputy General Counsel for Patents. "We're pleased to enter into this cross-license and we welcome discussions with any company interested in a similar arrangement."
Dan Lang, Cisco's Vice President of Intellectual Property, added: "In today's overly-litigious environment, cross-licensing is an effective way for technology companies to work together and help prevent unnecessary patent lawsuits.
"This agreement is an important step in promoting innovation and assuring freedom of operation."
Both Cisco and Google are members of the Coalition for Patent Fairness, an advocacy group for patent reform.
Last year Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler reiterated a pledge not to sell patents to patent assertion entities, in order to help encourage innovation rather than litigation.