NEW YORK — Microsoft, which just bought patents from AOL for $1 billion, is now turning around and selling most of them to Facebook for $550 million.
Facebook is buying about 650 of the 925 AOL patents and patent applications that Microsoft bought, Microsoft and Facebook said Monday.
Facebook also will get a license to use the rest of the AOL Inc. patents that Microsoft bought. Similarly, Microsoft Corp. will get a license to use the patents Facebook is buying. This part of the arrangement amounts to an agreement between Facebook and Microsoft not to sue each other over any of the AOL patents. The companies are not saying what the patents cover.
Microsoft said the deal enables it to recoup half the cost of the AOL deal while reaching its goals for the purchase. Facebook's general counsel, Ted Ullyot, called the move a “significant step in our ongoing process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook's interests over the long term.”
Patents have become a valuable commodity for technology companies in recent years, and companies frequently use them in lawsuits against one another.