Allies in the Great Patent War

Marc Sanchez Apr 24, 2012

Less than two weeks since its $1 billion purchase of patents from AOL, Microsoft, yesterday, turned around and sold about 70% of the very same patents to Facebook. Why? A mutual distaste for Google, perhaps. The New York Times reports: “Google has menaced Microsoft’s business on a number of fronts, including with free online Google applications that compete with Microsoft Office and with Android, a mobile operating system that competes with Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.” It’s too soon to say, but the thought is that Facebook will grab patents that deal with mobile, while Microsoft sticks to search patents. Either way, both companies have agreed to license ALL the patents to each other. How sweet.

This is all going on while Facebook is getting ready for its IPO while being sued, for patent infringements (naturally), by Yahoo! Why yes, the same Yahoo that Microsoft is heavily partnered with for search. I also heard that someone shot J.R. at Luke and Laura’s wedding.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.