Facebook Purchases AOL Patents For $550,000,000

The social network Facebook closed a deal with Microsoft Corp. to purchase 650 patents, which was a portion of the patent portfolio that Microsoft had agreed to buy earlier from AOL Inc. at auction.  925 patents or  patent applications and the right to license hundreds more, were purchased by Microsoft earlier this month for $1.1 billion.  The patents cover foundational Internet technologies in areas such as email, Web-search rankings, Web browsers, instant messaging and video conferencing.

At the time of the AOL patent auction, Facebook was one of the bidders that lost, said those familiar with the acquisition.  According to one who was familiar with the matter said that Microsoft had planned to resell a portion of the portfolio after its acquisition.

Back in March, Facebook was sued by Yahoo, and was accused of violating 10 Yahoo patents dealing with online advertising, communications, and website communication.  Facebook has countersued, and by paying $550 million to weight  up its patent kitty while gearing up to answer back in its legal dispute with Yahoo Inc., while also awaiting its impending initial public offering.

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