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Facebook's IBM patents vs Microsoft's AOL patents

  1. Apr 10, 2012 #1
    Facebook spent some unknown amount on some 750 IBM patents a few weeks ago (likely in response to Yahoo!'s patent lawsuit threat). Microsoft just bought 1100 patents or so from AOL for approximately a billion dollars.

    Which is the more powerful bag of patents, Microsoft's AOL patents or Facebook's IBM patents?

    P.S. I believe Google bought 1000 patents from IBM a few years ago as well.

    Could google have a stronger set of patents from IBM than facebook's IBM set?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2012 #2
    Can I hug all three of them ?
  4. Apr 10, 2012 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Please post the articles so people can read what you're talking about.
  5. Apr 10, 2012 #4
    All three are probably just loads of blocking or blocked patents anyway.
  6. Apr 11, 2012 #5
    As each company has different core focuses, comparing patent 'strengths' isn't really meaningful. The patents Google purchased are likely of more use to Google than they would be to Facebook or Microsoft, and likewise the other ways around.

    Google and it's partner manufacturers are currently engaged in many patent lawsuits around the world about mobile technology. It is likely that their patents are relevant to these lawsuits, or they may be relevant to some of the new technology Google is coming out with (self-driving cars, Google Glass, etc.).

    Facebook is engaged in a lawsuit with Yahoo about social news feeds and advertising, the patents they purchased are likely related to these, or other social features they hope to offer in the future.

    Microsoft is desperate to make headway into the consumer cloud computing, social networking, and mobile market. I would expect the patents they purchased from AOL are relevant to cloud computing and/or social networking. Though it wouldn't surprise me if they were purchased to help harass Android manufacturers either.
  7. Apr 11, 2012 #6
    Google tried to purchase 6000 patents from Nortel for 900 million a few years ago, but lost that bid to Microsoft, Apple, RIM and others who jointly purchased Nortel's patents for 4.5 billion. Those Nortel patents contain foundational IP for Google's Android OS. So now Google's Android OS is infringing upon many companies' patents. Google just purchased Motorola Mobility (hence Motorola Mobility's 20,000 patents) to somehow defend itself against many lawsuits over Android OS brought on by Apple, Microsoft and others. Google's purchase of Motorola patents seemed like a good idea back in 2011, but now Apple and Microsoft are currently going after Motorola Mobility over various licensing fee violations too (however, this could actually backfire on Apple and Microsoft through counterclaims by Motorola in the end which may prove Motorola to be a good purchase by google in terms of some non android related IP defense).

    I guess in the beginning when google was just mainly in search, it was google vs yahoo on that front, but when google started with chrome and android, microsoft took notice and eventually tried to acquire Yahoo! (which would have been very good for microsoft since much of google's search software is based on Yahoo intellectual propery.) However, Yahoo resisted Microsoft's takeover, but that refusal to be purchased hurt Yahoo! more than it hurt Microsoft since Yahoo was already struggling in a state of decline at the time. Microsoft still had its own search technology and turned it into Bing. And now, Bing powers yahoo search and has been granted exclusive access to Yahoo!'s search technology. However, I just read that there are recent rumors that Yahoo! is trying to get out of the microsoft search deal (not sure if its true or not) and let its search platform be powered by Google. However, google and yahoo tried to form an alliance like this prior to Microsoft's big splash with bing, and that was blocked for seeming to monopolistic, so I doubt yahoo can allign with google even if they wanted to form an alliance against bing. If yahoo! somehow got out of the Bing/Yahoo! search alliance, then I would bet (or like to see) Microsoft just go ahead and acquire all of Yahoo! once and for all.

    Even though its in major decline, yahoo is a good company with lots of foundational patents. Yahoo! successfully sued google back when google tried to go public on the stock market. And since facebook is gaining market share over everyone and is in the process of going public, yahoo has recently filed suit against facebook - and has the deep intellectual property to successfully recieve a nice settlement from facebook. However, in a possible defense strategy, facebook recently purchased something like 750 patents from IBM. The patents that facebook bought from IBM might contain IP that is licensed by yahoo. So now it is possible that facebook has some counterclaim ammunition against yahoo. However, Microsoft (despite rumors of yahoo renegoting on Bing), seems to have yahoo's back in the matter, since just this week, Microsoft purchased about 1000 AOL patents in response to facebook's IBM purchase. Which might contain just as foundational or more foundational IP than facebook's IBM patents, (but who knows).

    I wish there was one article that detailed the entire patent and company acquisition history of these internet related tech giants. This is just the current patent situation as I understand it to be based on random news articles i've read over the past weeks. I just want to see Microsoft prevail over the other tech industry leaders.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
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