Patent Sale Pushes AOL Stock Up 45 Percent

It looks like investors are ecstatic about the news that AOL has sold 800 patents to Microsoft for $1.056 billion.

AOL (which owns TechCrunch) made the announcement this morning, and as of 12:45pm Eastern, its stock was trading at $26.76 per share. That’s a 45 percent increase from Friday’s closing price, and the highest that AOL stock has been since November 2010.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong started talking up the patents in March, following (coincidentally or not) Yahoo’s patent lawsuit against Facebook. It’s not clear what Microsoft will do with these patents (the deal is supposed to close by the end of this year), but this does seem to neutralize the threat to Facebook, since Microsoft is a major shareholder. AOL, meanwhile, says it’s still holding on to more than 300 patents.