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Microsoft flees Germany over patent disputes

ZDNet - On Monday, Microsoft said it is in the process of moving its European logistics operation to the Netherlands. The decision has meant severing its distribution deal with Bertelsmann subsidiary Arvato, which is based in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen.

"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," Microsoft said in a statement. "We would have preferred to keep our European distribution centre 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."

Motorola is suing Microsoft in Germany over H.264 video compression technology. It has accused the software maker of using its patents in Windows 7, the Xbox gaming console, Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Media Player without permission, and the Mannheim Regional Court is due to rule on the matter on April 17.