Samsung has been the biggest Android vendor over the past few years, with all of its flagship Galaxy smartphones using a customized version of Google's software.
Apple has argued that Samsung and others copied the iPhone's designs, resulting in litigation and counter-suits around the world that have put billions of dollars at stake in the most competitive part of the industry.
Google's attempts to bolster its intellectual-property protection included a rapid growth in the number of patents it was awarded last year, extending into new markets such as wearable technology.
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"By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation," said Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google.
Seungho Ahn, head of Samsung's Intellectual Property Center, added: "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from co-operating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes."
The deal comes as Apple and Samsung resume negotiations to settle their many patent disputes around the world, and ahead of another blockbuster trial in California in March, which follows the iPhone maker's victory there in 2012. The chief executives of Apple and Samsung are set to meet for mediation by mid-February, despite the failure of several such meetings in the past.