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America Online Businesses Microsoft Patents

Microsoft Buys 800 AOL Patents For $1 Billion 103

netbuzz writes "Marking the latest escalation in the technology industry's intellectual-property arms race, Microsoft is paying AOL a shade over $1 billion for 800 patents, the cream of which AOL CEO Tim Armstrong has described as 'beachfront property in East Hampton.' Armstrong insists they haven't left the cupboard bare: 'We continue to hold a valuable patent portfolio as highlighted by the license we entered into with Microsoft. The combined sale and licensing arrangement unlocks current dollar value for our shareholders and enables AOL to continue to aggressively execute on our strategy to create long-term shareholder value.'"
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Microsoft Buys 800 AOL Patents For $1 Billion

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  • Re:Come on, now (Score:5, Informative)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:25AM (#39618611)
    Because of the way it was phrased. Arguably, a company with almost no cash and no interest in certain markets but holding patents in those markets could either become a patent troll, or could sell patents and get cash to allow for some kind of possible technological revival.

    Would you rather see AOL become the next Rambus?

    Personally I wouldn't be surprised if AOL slowly evolves into an e-mail portal for those who have had an address with them and are willing to pay $20 per year to keep that address, but they might be able to make something with the cash, if they're not horrifically stupid.
  • Wow (Score:5, Informative)

    by jcreus ( 2547928 ) on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:31AM (#39618667)
    Simple maths: 1000000000 / 800 = 1 250 000 USD per patent. Pretty amazing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:44AM (#39618799)

    Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Moviefone, MapQuest, Joystiq, Engadget

  • Re:Treading water... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:05AM (#39619005)

    Let's see, does this mean the GIF patent goes to Microsoft?

    The GIF patent is expired, and has been for about 9 years...

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller