/// Facebook Paying Microsoft $550 Million To Get Its Hands on Hundreds of Former AOL Patents
Microsoft and Facebook are about to announce a deal with the social networking giant paying Redmond $550 million for access to more than 600 patents, AllThingsD has learned. The deal comes as the social network prepares for its initial stock offering and looks to protect itself in an increasingly litigious intellectual property environment. Yahoo sued Facebook last month alleging infringement of 10 patents. Update: Microsoft has issued a press release on the deal. The deal covers a portion of the patents that Microsoft paid $1 billion earlier this month to acquire from AOL . In that auction, Microsoft got the ability to own or assign some 925 patents from AOL, plus a license to AOL’s remaining patents, including 300 patents not for sale. Facebook had also been interested in the AOL patents , according to Bloomberg. Microsoft is hanging on to about 265 of the patents it bought from AOL. REDMOND, Wash. and MENLO PARK, Calif. — April 23, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. and Facebook announced today a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will assign to Facebook the right to purchase a portion of the patent portfolio it recently agreed to acquire from AOL Inc. Facebook has agreed to purchase this portion for $550 million in cash. In the initial AOL auction, Microsoft secured the ability to own or assign approximately 925 U.S. patents and patent applications plus a license to AOL’s remaining patent portfolio, which contains approximately 300 additional patents that were not for sale.As a result of today’s agreement, Facebook will obtain ownership of approximately 650 AOL patents and patent applications, plus a license to the AOL patents and applications that Microsoft will purchase and own.