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Yahoo trying to sweeten sales pot with patent portfolio

The web pioneer hopes to raise $1 billion with sale of about 3,000 patents, including some for core search technology, sources tell The Wall Street Journal.

Yahoo is stepping up its fire sale with the addition of a portfolio of about 3,000 patents it hopes will fetch more than $1 billion, sources tell The Wall Street Journal.

The beleaguered web pioneer has in recent weeks sent letters to prospective buyers who might be interested purchasing the patents, some of which date back 20 years to the company's founding and include its early search technology, the newspaper reported. Preliminary bids are expected next week, according to the report.

"Yahoo is exploring the divestiture of a portfolio of more than 3,000 patents and pending applications covering a wide range of technology, including early-filed internet search, advertising, and cloud technology," a Yahoo spokeswoman said in a statement confirming the report.

Yahoo was once one of the brightest stars of the internet. But mismanagement, a failed takeover bid by Microsoft a decade ago and the changing ways of making money on the web have gutted its business.

CEO Marissa Mayer has been trying for four years to resuscitate the once mighty internet media and search site. But in February, she unveiled her make-or-break plan for the company, including cutting 1,700 jobs. She also put out a call to would-be buyers, saying she and Yahoo's board are ready to "engage on qualified strategic proposals."

This article also appears in Spanish. Read: Yahoo quiere lucir más atractiva con su cartera de patentes: reporte