Given how many companies are suing each other over alleged patent infringements these days, loading oneself up with a bunch of patents would seem like a good way to protect yourself and your products from potential lawsuits, but also to protect them against future copycats. This is why it did not come as a surprise to learn that AOL and Microsoft have both announced that the Redmond company will be purchasing more than 800 patents from AOL at a staggering price of $1.056 billion.
On top of that, Microsoft has also agreed to license more than 300 additional patents and patent applications from AOL. So what is Microsoft getting for its money? Naturally with so many patents, it’s going to be quite hard to name them all, but they are expected to cover advertising, search, content generation and management, social networking, mapping, multimedia/streaming and security. The sales of AOL’s patents to Microsoft are subject to regulatory approval, and assuming all goes well, the sale is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.