In today’s litigation-happy tech environment, patents are the ammunition that most tech companies use to defend themselves from litigation (or in some cases, attack competitors). It’s not surprising that Microsoft has moved to acquire AOL’s entire patent portfolio for about $1 billion, after winning the auction to grab their IP. The sale involves 800 patents and related patent applications, which shores up Microsoft’s already diverse collection of patents.
Envision IP has stated that of the 800 patents bought by the Redmond firm, 140 relate to online communications which primarily include instant messaging and e-mail, 81 covers browser technologies and user interfaces, 77 are related to search engine technologies and 74 covers multimedia , which relates to audio and video data compression that optimize bandwidth and improve streaming quality and transfer rates.
The sale is expected to become completed at the end of 2012, pending review from the related regulatory bodies.