Newsletters
Business News for Technology Decision-Makers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Business Briefing Mobile Industry News Small Business Tech Trends More Topics...
Vblock™ Systems:
Advanced converged infrastructure
increases productivity & lowers costs.

www.vce.com
Digital Life
24/7/365 Network Uptime
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Microsoft Sells Facebook Its AOL Patents for $550 Million
Microsoft Sells Facebook Its AOL Patents for $550 Million

By Jennifer LeClaire
April 23, 2012 11:53AM

Bookmark and Share
"All the major tech companies now are conscious of the need to have a defensive arsenal of patents to protect against litigation, which is increasing," said analyst Greg Sterling of Microsoft's deal to sell Facebook most of the patents it acquired from AOL. "....The move by Facebook was undoubtedly prompted by the recent lawsuit by Yahoo."
 


So much for the speculation over what Microsoft would do with the 925 patents it just bought from AOL earlier this month. At least part of the mystery is solved. Redmond is reselling most of them to its ally Facebook.

Microsoft and Facebook on Monday announced a deal for the social networking giant to purchase some of Redmond's recently acquired AOL patent portfolio for $550 million in cash. That leaves Microsoft with 275 of the patents.

"Today's agreement with Facebook enables us to recoup over half of our costs while achieving our goals from the AOL auction," said Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel at Microsoft. "As we said earlier this month, we had submitted the winning AOL bid in order to obtain a durable license to the full AOL portfolio and ownership of certain patents that complement our existing portfolio."

Facebook Beefs Up IP

In the initial AOL auction, Microsoft secured the rights to own or assign approximately 925 U.S. patents and patent applications plus a license to AOL's remaining patent portfolio, which contains approximately 300 additional patents that were not for sale.

The new deal gives Facebook about 650 AOL patents and patent applications, plus a license to the AOL patents and applications that Microsoft will purchase and own. Microsoft will also retain a license to the patents it is selling to Facebook and also still has a license to the approximately 300 patents AOL did not sell in its auction.

"Today's agreement with Microsoft represents an important acquisition for Facebook," said Ted Ullyot, general counsel at Facebook. "This is another significant step in our ongoing process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook's interests over the long term."

Targeting Yahoo?

Although Yahoo wasn't specifically mentioned, some industry watchers are betting the patent battle between Yahoo and AOL was at least one motivation for the all-cash patent swap. We asked Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, for his views on the transaction.

"All the major tech companies now are conscious of the need to have a defensive arsenal of patents to protect against litigation, which is increasing," Sterling told us. "This move is consistent with others being made in the segment, most notably Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility mostly for its patent portfolio. The move by Facebook was undoubtedly prompted by the recent lawsuit by Yahoo."

Yahoo filed suit against Facebook in March for patent infringement. Yahoo alleges the social-networking giant is trespassing on various technologies that Yahoo innovated. Specifically, Yahoo claims Facebook is infringing on patents that cover its technologies for privacy, advertising, site customization, social networking and integrated communications in social networking.

That didn't sit too well with Facebook, which turned the tables in early April by filing a countersuit against Yahoo. Facebook alleges the search engine company has infringed on its patents for advertising, photo tagging and online recommendations. Yahoo says the lawsuit is "without merit." The cases could drag on for years.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Digital Life
1.   Opera Coast Offers Safari Alternative
2.   What Might an Amazon Phone Offer?
3.   Google Maps, Now with Time Travel
4.   NYPD Twitter Campaign Backfires
5.   OnePlus One Boasts Android Weapon


advertisement
BlackBerry Drops T-Mobile After Spat
Moving on to other carriers after snub.
Average Rating:
Zebra Buys Motorola Enterprise Biz
Pays $3.45B in all-cash deal.
Average Rating:
What Might an Amazon Phone Offer?
Feature speculation is running rampant.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tech Giants Fund Initiative To Prevent Future Heartbleeds
Can more funding prevent Heartbleed vulnerabilities in future open-source software? A new Core Infrastructure Initiative at the Linux Foundation is attempting to find out.
 
What Verizon's Data Breach Report Can Teach Enterprises
It’s probably not a jaw-dropper, but cyberespionage is officially on the rise. And the use of stolen or misused credentials is still the leading way the bad guys gain access to corporate information.
 
Top Cyberthreats Exposed by Verizon Report
Beyond Heartbleed, there are cyberthreats vying to take down enterprise networks, corrupt smartphones, and wreak havoc on businesses. Verizon is exposing these threats in a new report.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Business
Home/Top News | Business Briefing | Mobile Industry News | Small Business | Tech Trends | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Innovation
E-Commerce | CIO Issues | Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.