New Microsoft Products On The Horizon? MS and AOL Announce Whopping Billion-Dollar Patent Deal

Written by: Jon Charles - Published: Monday, April 9th, 2012 - Comments

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Over a billion dollars, Microsoft and AOl confirm a patent deal has been struck. Did Microsoft also buy one for an upcoming product?


AOL sells over 800 patents to Microsoft in a deal that totals over a billion dollars

A press release courtesy of Businesswire has confirmed the sale of over 800 patents from AOL to Microsoft, in a deal that costs over a billion dollars. AOL will continue to hold around 300 patents, though.

In the deal AOL has not only kept the 300 patents, but has obtained licenses to the patents Microsoft purchased. AOL’s patents include social networking, advertising and security among other areas.

AOL has also said $1.056 billion dollars will be returned to shareholders, though the company is still determining the most effective way to do that as the transaction is closed. The press release adds that Microsoft will have approximately $15 per share as a result of the sale.

AOL said that the deal allowed the company to maintain a large portion of its patent portfolio while bringing long-term value to consumers. I’m sure shareholders won’t be complaining about the deal as long as AOL delivering in rewarding them with their portion of deal.

Microsoft said the deal allowed them to gain patents which complement their existing portfolio. Int the press release, Microsoft also said that they had been following the portfolio for months and years. The press released adds that detail is expected to be closed by the end of 2012, which should give AOL enough time to think of the most effective way to rewards shareholders.

Microsoft’s strategy

It’ll be interesting to see what Microsoft actually do with their patent. Whether they just hold on to them or actively applying them to upcoming producers and services remains to be seen. When we’ve seen patents come through the FCC, they haven’t always materialized into real products. In the press release Microsoft did say that the patent complimented their existing portfolio, so it’s seem likely nothing will come of them for now.

Whether, as Windows 8 releases, Microsoft used the patent to improve the experience is unknown. There will certainly be users who don’t like certain features, so Microsoft could be looking at these patents as potential ways to offer a better experience. For now, though, don’t count on it.

Windows 8 launches 2012.


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Written by: Jon Charles
Jonathan is a writer on the technology and video game industries. He is comfortable with using Mac OS X and Windows; he began using Windows with Windows XP during his early double-digit years, and started using OS X in 2009 on a MacBook Pro. He began gaming on the SNES back in the 90s.

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