It’s a huge partnership between two of the biggest brands in the world.
On Monday, Microsoft and Facebook announced a definitive patent sharing agreement that some analysts believe could represent a major development for Facebook and its arsenal of services.
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.
Through the freshly confirmed deal, 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.
“Today’s agreement with Facebook enables us to recoup over half of our costs while achieving our goals from the AOL auction,” says Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel, Microsoft. “As we said earlier this month, we had submitted the winning AOL bid in order to obtain a durable license to the full AOL portfolio and ownership of certain patents that complement our existing portfolio.”
“Today’s agreement with Microsoft represents an important acquisition for Facebook,” adds Ted Ullyot, general counsel at Facebook. “This is another significant step in our ongoing process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook’s interests over the long term.”