We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Cross-Licensing?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cross-licensing is an activity in which companies grant licenses to use their patents to each other. This can be done for a number of different reasons, with one of the key reasons being that since the companies have cross-licensed their material, they do not have to be as concerned about patent infringement or the risk of reinventing something which the other company has already patented. There are some antitrust concerns related to cross-licensing which companies must be wary of before entering into cross-licensing deals.

Sometimes, two companies collaborate on a project and they use cross-licensing to allow access to all the components of the project. Likewise, companies in competitive industries sometimes cross-license to eliminate the risk of infringement suits and to share technology which will improve the industry as a whole. One form of cross-licensing can be a patent pool, in which patent holders as a group share patents which apply to their industry.

The benefits for consumers can be significant. For example, patent cross-licensing in the auto industry has made the production of generic parts possible, cutting down on costs by allowing people to purchase a wider range of products for maintenance and service. Likewise, cross-licensing can contribute to innovation by providing companies with access to materials other companies are working on. Not having to worry about patents held by others frees up inventors to develop new and better products.

One problem with patents and cross-licensing is that it can create barriers to people who are just getting started in the field. If a newcomer wants to develop anything, substantial licensing costs may need to be paid to cross-licensed patent holders to gain access to technology used in the industry. This in turn makes it hard to get started, unless a startup has significant capital to apply to the development of new products and the licensing of patents. If the government feels that cross-licensing is creating such barriers or that a so-called "patent thicket" which makes it extremely hard to innovate and invent is being created, it may take steps to break down these barriers under antitrust laws.

In a tactic known as defensive termination, a company grants licensing rights to another company on the condition that if the other company sues it for infringement, it will revoke the licensed patent and countersue. This can act as a disincentive to suits between companies which have cross-licensing deals.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a MyLawQuestions researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.