I am one who is in favour of 'no patent' laws. If someone innovates something, he should be confident enough that even if his product's design and specifications get copied, his product would remain superior due to better marketing and due to the fact that people admire it being the innovator.
I am not defending counterfeiting here, though.
Germany should also perform feasibility analysis that whether benefits due to it becoming a manufacturing hub in Europe are greater or benefits due to enforcing strict legal regulations are more.
I guess when your patent portfolio is so large, it is easy to step on other's toes.. until they fight back and have maybe as large a portfolio. At least they're smart enough to back down gracefully and not waste tons of $$$ in litigation.
Big companies cannot and do not always disclose the real reasons behind their decisions. It is unlikely that we find out whether the patent question is only a pretext and the real reasons to move are others or whether it is at least among the many real reasons why Microsoft moves or not at all. If it is, what weight has it among those reasons to tip the scale towards the Netherlands? I would expect that such a decision was taken after weighing many pros and cons against each other, not only on a single issue.
In the past Microsoft obviously found the combination of pros and cons in Germany advantageous and now not anymore. So what? In a few years that may be different again, and they may go to a different country again or might even come back to Germany. We all know that big companies are cherry pickers and don't think much of being loyal to a place or to people.
I don't know if Germany shoots itself in the foot or if Microsoft does. Microsoft is also patent holder and may benefit from strict patent law enforcement when somebody infringes their patents, so moving to the Netherlands could well backfire. Just think of the constant wailing about the business and money lost in certain Asian nations where patents are systematically ignored.
By the way judges don't make laws in Germany. They interpret and apply them. Judges are as different as any group of humans, so one judge may come to a totally different assessment and conclusion than another while applying the same law on the same case. A series of sentences in favour of the plaintiff doesn't make Germany patent holder's paradise and everybody else's nightmare.
Why do we have so many variations of the laws on patents in the EU not to mention the United States, China, etc. If the laws had been similar, Microsoft would have been more certain of the grounds under its corporate feet. The EU was supposed to bring some level of uniformity to these nations but it seems huge differences exist.
This is fascinating stuff. It is clear that rulings market to maeket differ: every day, Apple or Samsung are upheld in one region and reversed in another. It must get very confusing. Maybe Microsoft has the better idea: flight rather than fight. Not to mention the millions that can be saved by not fighting these battles in court.
jbond - you hit on a few good points, and it might be hard for us on the outside to tell which dynamic is really playing out. Does Germany just have a much firmer stance on patent infringement than other EU countries? Or does Microsoft think it can't win in Germany, and do they think that because they have a weak case, because Motorola has more proof of infringement or does it go back to te first question - is it because Germany's too tough on this issues? I'm not sure...
FlyingScot - I agree with you for exact reasons you mention. Wouldn't be surprised if more companies start evaluating logistics against legal risks, especailly now given the widespread, high-stake patent lawsuit fever we're seeing in the tablet and smartphone space lately.
This is an interesting situation going on with Germany. It would appear that if Germany continues to take such a stance against these large companies, they could lose out on some serious business. Doesn't seem too smart in light of the current financial situation throughout the globe. On another note it would appear that Microsoft believes they are guilty of violating Motorola's patents, or they wouldn't chose to leave one of Europes strongest economies.
Germany wil need to watch it does not shoot itself in the foot. The Netherlands has always been a good choice for US companies to set up in Europe because of the central location and fantastic language skills of the Dutch.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.