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.