AOL has rebutted an investor request that the company replace several members of its board of directors.
The company denied a request from investment firm Starboard Ventures, an investment firm which currently holds a 5 per cent share in the company.
Starboard had sought to replace members of the company's board with one or more of its own candidates. In a letter to AOL executives, the company expressed concerns over the way AOL was handling its intellectual property holdings.
"Since our initial public involvement in AOL, we have been approached by multiple parties specializing in intellectual property valuation and monetization, some of whom believe that a significant number of large internet-related technology companies may be infringing on these patents, and AOL's patent portfolio could produce in excess of $1bn of licensing income if appropriately harvested and monetized," the company said in its letter.
"Unfortunately, several of these parties have expressed severe frustration that AOL has been entirely unresponsive to their proposals regarding ways to take advantage of this underutilized asset."
The company presented AOL with a list of possible candidates for director positions. Among the names on the list were Starboard chief executive Jeffery Smith, former film and television executive Dennis Miller and investor Steven Fink.
Shortly after the letter was released, AOL issued a statement of its own declining the request. The company said that despite Starboard's claims, AOL is looking to monetise its patent holdings.
"Our Board of Directors and management team remain firmly committed to creating value for all shareholders," the company said in its statement.
"We have a valuable patent portfolio and several months ago, prior to Starboard’s first letter, the AOL Board of Directors authorized the start of a process, and hired advisors, to realize the value of certain non-strategic patents."
The exchange comes as AOL continues its efforts to rebuild itself and thrive as a online content provider.
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