Not looking to be left out of the fun, Microsoft has acquired more than 800 patents from AOL in a deal worth $1 billion. AOL's stock surged 45% on the news of the deal and the fact that a "significant portion" will go directly into the hands of share holders. Patent advisory firm M-Cam Inc. values AOL's patent portfolio at $290 million.
"Most on the Street viewed $300 million as the likely maximum value," explained Benchmark analyst Clayton Moran. "Relative to this expectation, AOL has created $7.63 per share in stock value." Because of this, the analyst believes a one-time dividend would be in order.
The sale will leave AOL with a license to use the patents as well as leave Microsoft with "a nonexclusive license for Microsoft to AOL's remaining portfolio of 300 patents, which include those for advertising, search, content generation, social networking and mapping technology." It will be interesting to see if Microsoft joins in the patent trolling.