AOL has sold 800 software patents, most of its war chest, to Microsoft, for $1.056 billion, the company confirmed in a memo to its staffers on Monday, AOL-owned blog TechCrunch reported.
The deal grants Microsoft ownership over AOL's most valuable software patents, but AOL still has permanent licensing agreements to use all of them going forward. The patents cover everything from "advertising, search, content generation/management, social networking, mapping, multimedia/streaming and security," according to TechCrunch.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong previously said that his company's patent portfolio was "in the top three" in the marketplace, according to Bloomberg (via The Business Insider).
The move comes on the heels of a recently-ignited patent battle between Yahoo and Facebook over 10 software patents related to social networking. Microsoft was a major early investor in Facebook and as such the move has been interpreted as good news for Facebook.
AOL will detail more of the transaction in an all-hands employee call at 11 am ET.