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Facebook to buy AOL patents from Microsoft

Facebook to spend $550m on patents Microsoft acquired from AOL

Facebook is buying patents to protect its interests, a lawyer for the company said.
Facebook is buying patents to protect its interests, a lawyer for the company said.

Facebook has announced a deal to buy 650 patents from Microsoft for $550m.

The patents were acquired by Microsoft earlier this month, when the software giant bought around 800 patents from AOL. Facebook will also pay to licence the other 275 AOL patents.

The buy was seen as a strategic move to safeguard Facebook as the IT sector becomes increasingly litigious over patents. The social network was sued by Yahoo! in March over patent infringement, mainly around patents relating to web advertising.

Facebook also bought a number of patents from IBM last month.

The deal was described by a Facebook user as: "Another significant step in our ongoing process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook's interests."

"Today's agreement with Facebook enables us to recoup over half of our costs while achieving our goals from the AOL auction," said Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith.

Facebook also reported a drop in profits for the first calendar quarter 2012, with profit sliding to $205m from $233m in the same period last year.