Brand Necrophilia, part 6

Microsoft buys Netscape

AOL said that as part of the deal, it was selling "stock of an AOL subsidiary" at a loss in order to reduce its tax bill. AOL didn't reveal the name of the subsidiary, but sources have confirmed that it is in fact Netscape.

Microsoft will acquire all the patents surrounding the Netscape browser, while AOL will still own the actual brand. That extends to the Netscape business, which was once an ISP, as well as the URL for the brand.

I assume that this means that ValueClick will now be suing Microsoft over the cookie patent instead of AOL, if that's still going on.

There are no winners here.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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11 Responses:

  1. Bill Paul says:

    I wish the same logic that says "you can't just sell someone a bare right to sue for copyright infringement without actually transferring the copyright to them as well" could also be used to enforce the notion that "you can't just sell the stuff that makes a company a company without selling them the company name."

    This whole "leave the gun, take the cannoli " approach to mergers and acquisitions just irritates me. (It reminds of me the nonsense where The Open Group (which isn't) retains the rights to the UNIX brand name while Novell has all the copyrights and SCO ended up with all the actual IP. Who the hell thought that was a good idea.)

    • example says:

      Of course you can sell the company's assets without selling the name. You're selling a bunch of independent items, Most importantly the patents, but other then that stuff like office chairs, desks, buildings, and so on.

      • pavel_lishin says:

        Someone over on HN suggested that perhaps when companies are acquired, user data shouldn't be a part of that acquisition. I'm still wondering how that would work. If you buy Reddit, but can't buy the users, what the hell are you left with?

  2. hmm, Netscape mail service is still up - © 2006 Netscape All Rights Reserved.
    http://helpisp.netscape.com/support/microsites/netscapeispHome.jsp
    I wonder if they would migrate it to Hotmail (or Live.com?)
    p.s. cannot use my dk@ua. email address for some reason..

    • the hatter says:

      No doubt there's not quite a comprehensive parser for email addresses submitted here, I found plenty of places that didn't like my address @ly when I ran that.

  3. LafinJack says:

    How much overlap is there between Netscape patents and Mozilla patents?

  4. David Glover says:

    ValueClick settled in 2010.

  5. Ian Young says:

    The World Wide Web is nice, but it really needs a mailreader.