Facebook buys AOL patents from Microsoft

San Francisco: Facebook will buy a
portion of AOL patents from Microsoft 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.

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