Microsoft to sell AOL Patents to Facebook

Microsoft will sell a portion of  AOL Patents to Facebook for $550 million, it was announced Monday. The software giant had bought the patents from AOL recently.

“Today’s agreement with Microsoft represents an important acquisition for Facebook,” Ted Ullyot, Facebook’s general counsel, said in a joint statement of the two companies.

“This is another significant step in our ongoing process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook ‘s interests over the long term,” Xinhua quoted Ullyot as saying.

The agreement with Facebook “enables us to recoup over half our costs while achieving our goals from the AOL auction”, said Brad Smith, executive vice president at Microsoft.

The deal is expected to give Facebook a stronger position in the technology patent battlefield, where the company had been weak and facing lawsuits, most notably from Yahoo.

Late last month, Facebook was said to purchase 750 patents covering software and networking from IBM, according to a Bloomberg report.

Yahoo sued Facebook over 10 patent infringements in March, covering internet privacy, advertising and information sharing. Facebook filed a countersuit against Yahoo April 3.

Microsoft got the AOL patents in “a competitive auction” April 9 for $1.056 billion in cash. The patent portfolio spans technologies like advertising, search and social networking.