Microsoft has purchased a number of patents from AOL.
April 10, 2012- AOL, Inc. has agreed to sell 800 of its patents to Microsoft. The slumping Internet icon will receive over $1 billion from the software giant in exchange for the patents. This is just another example of how valuable portfolios of patents can be for the largest technology companies in the world.
In the market, there is a fight on many fronts – advertising, patents and technology – for market share. Microsoft has been using its portfolio of patents to generate licensing fees in order to strengthen its market share in those areas.
Microsoft would not comment on what the patents cover, but analysts say they cover Internet technology that includes search, advertising and mapping. If that is the case, it will help the software giant against its biggest rival, Google, which leads Microsoft in all those areas.
Over the last few years, patents have become one of the industry’s hottest commodities. They have become useful in legal attacks such as suing other competitors and in defensive actions like warding off suits from competitors, with treats of being able to countersuit.
Facebook purchased over 750 patents from IBM recently in a move to help defend it, following an accusation by Yahoo that it violated 10 of Yahoo’s patents. Facebook then turned around and countersued Yahoo, accusing them of violating 10 of its patents.