On 9th April 2012, Microsoft acquired AOL’s patents for $1.06 billion. Microsoft secured the ability to own or assign approximately 925 U.S patents and patent applications along with license to AOL’s remaining patent portfolio of approximately 300 additional patents. Facebook entered an agreement with Microsoft and obtained ownership of approximately 650 AOL patents and patent applications along with license to the AOL patents and applications that Microsoft owns. Facebook purchased the AOL patents for $ 550 million by making the payment through cash.
By this agreement , Facebook having a mission “to make the world more open and connected “ had made a significant improvement in the process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook’s interests over the long term . Nowadays people frequently use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family to discover what’s going on in the world and to share and express what matters to them a lot. The accounting treatment for the transactions between Facebook and Microsoft are subjected to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended.
Facebook which is in a major patent lawsuit with Yahoo and also fighting with dozens of smaller patent suits wades deeper into the waters of patent litigation by seeking out patent portfolios as a form of self-defense against competing fast growing technical companies. This purchase of AOL patents by Facebook is really fascinating as they consider patent litigation to be a substitute for innovation. As reports reveal, the 300 patents which AOL retained are related to imaging and the imaging patents will be really significant to Facebook in view of its purchase of photo-sharing site Instagram for $1 billion.
The recent assignment changes from AOL/Mapquest to Facebook reflected in the PTO assignment database last week (107 patents/publications got recorded on 28th June, 2012). You can set up free alerts at MaxVal’s Assignment (Alerts) Database and get alerted whenever there is a change in assignment.
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