Motorola litigation forces Microsoft to pull distribution out of Germany

Microsoft has decided to move its European software distribution center out of Germany and into the Netherlands, in response to fallout from its patent battle with Motorola Mobility. Reuters reports that the move is already underway, and that Arvato, the German company that has handled European distribution so far, will no longer be responsible.

Thomas Baumgaertner, a Microsoft spokesman, said that even though the company would've “preferred to keep our European distribution centre in Germany, where it has been for many years... the risk from disruptions from Motorola's patent litigation is simply too high.”

Microsoft's patent battle with Motorola Mobility centers on streaming and wireless patents, which Microsoft says Motorola is using unfairly to hurt its competition. According to Microsoft, Motorola is demanding exorbitant royalties for use of its H.264 codec – about $22.50 for every $1,000 laptop sold, and that it is essentially trying to block the competition entirely.

Google, of course, is currently in the process of acquiring Motorola Mobility, not only for its hardware production, but also for its vast patent library. Apple is in on the action as well, finding itself on the same side as Microsoft as part of its 'thermonuclear war' on Android.

Microsoft's withdrawl from its German distribution center is the most notable effect that we've seen from the litigation so far, but it would pale in comparison to the blow back that would come with a Motorola victory.

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