The announcement came this morning that Microsoft bought 800 patents from AOL for a little over $1 billion. There’s no word on what kinds of patents were sold, but All Things D hedges its bet “in areas like instant messaging and email.” AOL is still holding on to a little over 300 patents, which it says spans its “core and strategic technologies, including advertising, search, content generation/management, social networking, mapping, multimedia/streaming, and security among others.”
Translation: we tried to sell the “You’ve got mail” voice as a ringtone for Microsoft’s new Windows phone, but they didn’t want it.
Of course this is another battle (Shiloh, Manassas, Schrute Farms) in the Great Patent Wars in which every tech company is engaged. It’s sue or be sued.