Samsung said Monday it had signed a long-term cross-licence deal with Google in a move to help the South Korean technology firm stave off potential patent disputes in the future. The move comes as the South Korean firm is engaged in a series of long-running copyright infringement rows with Apple over technology and design in the firms' smartphones and tablets. Samsung said in a statement Monday that its agreement with US Internet search giant Google will cover the firms' existing patents as well as those filed over the next 10 years. It said it would cover "a broad range of technologies and business areas", without elaborating further. "By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation," Allen Lo, Google's deputy general counsel for patents, said in the statement. Samsung said the latest deal would pave the way for deeper collaboration on research and development. "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes," said Ahn Seung-Ho, the head of Samsung's intellectual property centre. Almost all of Samsung's smartphones and tablet computers are powered by the Android operating system made by Google. But Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility and the rollout of its own Nexus mobile devices raised questions that the two partners may soon directly compete against each other. Samsung -- the world's top maker of smartphones and TVs -- has repeatedly locked horns with its US rival Apple in global patent battles over technology and design in smartphones and tablet computers. Earlier this month, the companies' chief executives agreed to attend a mediation session to discuss their legal wrangles, one of which saw a US court order Samsung to pay Apple more than $900 million.