Microsoft buys AOL patents for $1.06bn

AOL sells majority of patents for various technologies to Microsoft

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Microsoft buys AOL patents for $1.06bn Microsoft will buy 800 AOL patents.
By  Mark Sutton Published  April 9, 2012

Microsoft has announced a $1.06bn deal to buy the majority of AOL's patents.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will give Microsoft ownership of 800 patents, and non-exclusive rights to a further 300 patents that AOL will retain.

Some of the patents bought by Microsoft are thought to relate to the Netscape browser, according to All Things D, but AOL retains the Netscape brand.

The patents retained by AOL will relate to advertising, search, and other technologies.

AOL said the sale is the result of an auction process that will unlock shareholder value.

"The agreement with Microsoft represents the culmination of a robust auction process for our patent portfolio," said Tim Armstrong, AOL's chairman and CEO. "We continue to hold a valuable patent portfolio as highlighted by the license we entered into with Microsoft. The combined sale and licensing arrangement unlocks current dollar value for our shareholders and enables AOL to continue to aggressively execute on our strategy to create long-term shareholder value."

"This is a valuable portfolio that we have been following for years and analyzing in detail for several months," said Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft. "AOL ran a competitive auction and by participating, Microsoft was able to achieve our two primary goals: obtaining a durable license to the full AOL portfolio and ownership of certain patents that complement our existing portfolio."

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