AOL sells patents to Microsoft in $1.1 billion deal
America Online announced Monday that it has sealed a $1.1 billion deal with Microsoft for more than 800 patents.
According to a news release announcing the deal, the companies entered into a non-exclusive license for the patents, following an auction.
The companies did not say which patents are part of the deal, but a technology company as old as AOL certainly has patents that could prove useful for Microsoft as patent lawsuits continue to rage between some of the industry’s largest companies.
“This is a valuable portfolio that we have been following for years and analyzing in detail for several months,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president for legal and corporate affairs, said in the release. “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.”
Patents are the ammunition used in the legal battles between smartphone, tablet, social media and other competitors who have decided to air their grievances in courts around the world. Microsoft, in particular, has been concerned about Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobilityand the patents the Mountain View, Calif. -based firm will hold once the deal is final.