Google justifies nicknaming the Android Networked Cross-License Agreement as “PAX” for the sake of putting the Latin meaning of the shorthand as “peace”. It’s not an acronym, it’s more important than that to the Android ecosystem and to you.
Its members — Google, Samsung, LG, Foxconn, HMD (representing Nokia), HTC, Coolpad, BQ and Allview — agree upon royalty-free licenses for patents covering Google services-enriched Android devices. Other members may join for free at any time. Over 230,000 patents are currently available for competitive use and may open up certain features that manufacturers have made for their own Android phones to appearing on other manufacturers’ Android phones.
The licensing terms are confidential.
Google has keen interest in keeping “a patent peace” among its Android manufacturers with each unit in the ecosystem contributing data, ad views and taps to the company’s bottom line. It has incentive to keep as many players, big and small serving all nooks and niches, in its bubble and not fighting with each other where a loser may end up shuttering or walking to a different platform.
Speaking of, the Korean Fair Trade Commission is looking into whether Google has interfered with Samsung’s efforts to potentially move away from Android in favor of Tizen OS to power its smartphones.