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Microsoft shuts shop on German partnership

Patent battles cited for move
Mon Apr 02 2012, 17:27

SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has closed down a logistics partnership with German business Arvato and will relocate to the Netherlands.

The firm cited the cost and disruption of patent battles for its decision, explaining that they could get in the way of manufacturing.

Microsoft confirmed that Motorola was behind its decision in a statement, adding that it had nothing to do with the Arvato service.

"We have a great relationship with Arvato and we are pleased with the quality of their service. But Motorola's refusal to live up to its patent promises has left us no choice," said a Microsoft spokesperson.

"We would have preferred to keep our European distribution center with Arvato in Germany as it has been for many years, but unfortunately the risk of disruption from Motorola's patent litigation is simply too high."

Microsoft's big patent battle in Germany is with Motorola and over the H.264 video standard. Microsoft says that Motorola is trying to shake it down for large royalties, which could drive up the cost of hardware including the Xbox. Motorola disputes this, saying that it offers to license the codec on fair terms. µ


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