Facebook Submitted Bid For Microsoft’s AOL Patents

Facebook made an offer to acquire the 800 patents that Microsoft bought from AOL last week.

Sources said that the social network made a bid for the portfolio but that it was dismissed for being too low,  according to Bloomberg.

Changing hands

Microsoft bought 800 of AOL’s patents for $1.1 billion (£700m), with AOL retaining a license to use the portfolio and Microsoft gaining a license to AOL’s 300 remaining patents. The patents in question are believed to relate to advertising, search and mobile from AOL businesses such as Netscape, MapQuest, CompuServe and Advertising.com.

However it has been suggested that Microsoft intends to sell most of the patents that it does not consider to be essential and that Facebook is still interested in acquiring these if the former is willing to discuss a deal.

The move would strengthen Facebook’s patent portfolio, bolstered by the acquisition of 750 IBM patents that cover various software and networking technologies in March. The social network is currently engaged in a patent lawsuit relating to privacy, messaging and advertising with troubled Internet giant Yahoo.

Yahoo initiated legal action in March, but this was met by a counter lawsuit as Facebook attempts to reassure potential investments ahead of the company’s expected initial public offering (IPO).

Mitel, a provider of businesses communications and collaboration software, has also accused Facebook of violating its patents and has launched legal action. The Canadian company claims that the social network infringed on patents for “automatic web page creation” and “pro active features for telephony”.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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