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Finnegan Assists Client AOL in Achieving $1.056 Billion Patent Deal

April 9, 2012

Related Professionals: Gramenopoulos, C. Gregory , Paul, John C., Cook, Elliot C., Stein, James D.

Press Release

April 9, 2012

Contact:    C. Gregory Gramenopoulos, 202.408.4263

Finnegan Assists Client AOL in Achieving $1.056 Billion Patent Deal


WASHINGTON, DC - On April 9, 2012, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, client AOL announced that it reached an agreement with Microsoft to receive $1.056 billion for selling over 800 patents and granting Microsoft a license on its remaining 300 patents and patent applications. The effective price of approximately $1.2 million per acquired patent sets a new record, exceeding prices reported in recent patent sales by Nortel and Motorola. Since 2008, Finnegan has worked closely with AOL to strategically build and strengthen its patent portfolio, towards its monetization goals.

AOL engaged Finnegan to provide strategic patent planning and prosecution services, which involved transferring hundreds of cases for review and processing. The Finnegan team, led by C. Gregory Gramenopoulos, analyzed the portfolio and implemented a process for strengthening it—identifying key inventions, studying products and trends in the market, drafting claims with an eye toward enforcement, and conducting interviews with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office examiners to obtain prompt allowances. Since retaining Finnegan, AOL’s patent portfolio has grown significantly, not only in terms of size, but also in terms of claim coverage and quality.

Finnegan has also helped AOL identify monetization opportunities and develop offensive and defensive patent strategies. When AOL’s board of directors authorized a sale process for the portfolio, Finnegan worked with AOL’s in-house patent team and top executives and a team of advisors, handling numerous critical tasks and providing guidance throughout the negotiations and bidding process, which involved Microsoft and a number of other high-technology companies.

About Finnegan
With more than 375 intellectual property lawyers, Finnegan is one of the largest IP law firms in the world. From offices in Washington, DC; Atlanta, Georgia; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Palo Alto, California; Reston, Virginia; Brussels, Belgium; Shanghai, China; Taipei, Taiwan; and Tokyo, Japan, the firm practices all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law, including counseling, prosecution, licensing, and litigation. Finnegan also represents clients on IP issues related to international trade, portfolio management, the Internet, e-commerce, government contracts, antitrust, and unfair competition. For additional information on the firm, please visit