CALL US: 206.533.3854
CALL US  206.533.3854
AEON Law logo full color transparent
AEON law logo on grey background

AOL Patent Sale Beats Expectations

AOL patents
Sell at a premium price
In Microsoft deal

As previously reported by this blog, in recent weeks estimates of the value of AOL’s patents have ranged from a high of $1 billion  to a low of $290 million.

Ending speculation, 800 patents in the AOL portfolio have been sold to Microsoft for $1.3 million each – a total of just over one billion dollars.

The premium price reflects the increasingly important role of patent rights as both offensive and defensive competitive weapons. One of the largest recent deals was Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility and its 17,000 patents for $12.5 billion. Assuming that those patents account for half the value of the acquisition, the price for each would average $400,000 – less than a third of what Microsoft paid for the AOL patents, on a per-patent basis.

Last year, Microsoft and Apple joined forces with four other companies to pay $4.5 billion for the 6,000 patents held by the bankrupt Canadian telecom company Nortel – a rate of $750,000 per patent. This was nearly four times the average for computer, software, and telecom patents only a few years earlier.

AOL, an online pioneer now switching its focus from technology to media with its acquisition of The Huffington Post and other publications, sold to Microsoft its early patents that relate to search, email, messaging, and custom ads. The company is retaining ownership of an additional 300 patents.

Microsoft has about 20,000 patents of its own (not counting pending applications) — about four times the stockpile of its rival Apple.

Related Articles

AEON Law Founder Adam Philipp Ranked Among Leading IP Lawyers in Chambers USA Guide

AEON Law founder Adam Philipp is included in this year’s Chambers USA guide of the leading IP attorneys in AEON’s home market of Washington. Based ...
Read More

AEON Law and Founder Adam Philipp Ranked Among World’s Top Patent Professionals in IAM Guide

AEON Law and founder Adam Philipp are recognized in this year’s IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals. Adam was recommended for patent prosecution ...
Read More

Understanding the Dawn Donut Rule for Trademarks

In trademark law, the general rule is that, where two parties seek to use the same trademark in the same geographic area, the earlier (“senior”) ...
Read More

Let's work together.

Contact us to set up a meeting with an attorney or team member.

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive Patent Poetry—a monthly roundup of key IP issues in our signature haiku format. Four articles (only 68 syllables); zero hassle.



Artificial Intelligence

Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

Computer Technology & Software

Consumer Electronics

Electrical Devices



Mechanical Devices

Consumer & Retail Products

Hardware & Tools

Toys & Games



Chemical Compounds

Digital Health

Healthcare Products



Books & Publications

Brand Creation

Luxury Products

Photography & Video

Product Design

call us  206.533.3854