Report: Microsoft plans to sell patents it bought from AOL

Earlier this month, Microsoft made headlines when it announced that it was buying up 800 patents owned by AOL for $1 billion. Now a new report claims that Microsoft intends to sell off most of those patents because it feels doesn't actually need them.

The report from Bloomberg, which cites unnamed sources, doesn't go into detail on which of AOL's patents Microsoft intends to keep and which ones it will sell off. The AOL patents do include those for the Netscape web browser, which AOL acquired several years ago. AOL retained the actual Netscape brand name in the Microsoft deal.

Bloomberg also claims that Facebook made a bid to buy out AOL's patents too, but that Facebook's asking price was too low for AOL to accept. Facebook announced its plan to purchase Instagram for $1 billion the same day Microsoft and AOL announced their patent deal.

Microsoft is expected to announce their first quarter 2012 earnings later this afternoon. Perhaps we will learn more about the company's plans for AOL's patents at that time. Meanwhile, AOL has already said it plans to use the $1 billion it got from Microsoft to pay back AOL's shareholders.

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8 Comments

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Microsoft

- Buy patents
- Sell patents next day
- Buy them again for 10 x price

This is what happened with Skype too, it started as Microsoft's project, then they bought it back for billions of USD

FoxieFoxie said,
Microsoft

- Buy patents
- Sell patents next day
- Buy them again for 10 x price

This is what happened with Skype too, it started as Microsoft's project, then they bought it back for billions of USD


Have I missed something? When was Skype a Microsoft project?

Graimer said,

Have I missed something? When was Skype a Microsoft project?

Just ignore Foxie. He has no clue what he's talking about.

FoxieFoxie said,
Microsoft

- Buy patents
- Sell patents next day
- Buy them again for 10 x price

This is what happened with Skype too, it started as Microsoft's project, then they bought it back for billions of USD

no it didn't Skype was started by the people who wrote Kazza it was never a MS project not even at the research level

FoxieFoxie said,
Microsoft

- Buy patents
- Sell patents next day
- Buy them again for 10 x price

This is what happened with Skype too, it started as Microsoft's project, then they bought it back for billions of USD

You sir, are plain stupid.

So what they're saying is that AOL could have made more money by selling them separately instead (and at the right companies etc)

Rudy said,
So what they're saying is that AOL could have made more money by selling them separately instead (and at the right companies etc)

AOL already got the best deal they could get for those patents..
I have a feeling MS will lose money on this.