Microsoft decision is good because if Motorola should secure the patent injunction, it could lock down their European distribution and since patent law is practiced differently in every country, Netherland can be a better source of European distribution.
The court is still looking at this, so however easy it is to get an injunction, it still must mean an expensive effort to substantiate a claim of infringement. If Germany has done it right, the law would include disincentives for claims that are frivolous or in bad faith. In my eyes, Microsoft's move amounts to an admission of guilt.
Interesting that Microsoft chose to make the move to the Netherlands, where sympathy towards Germany is known to have gone chilly over the past century. This tests the spirit if not the letter of the EU conventions.
I agree with DWeil that there are probably other reasons for the move. For one thing the Netherlands has the biggest port in Europe, and better access to ocean-going distribution.
@Eldredge: Absolutely, patents are one of ways that encourage enterprises to reveal their innovative ideas to the public. Sometimes, it is because of these patents that innovative ideas are marketed to the public instead of being kept in R&D of corporations or the Government.
@Waqas: I am not familiar with corporate law so I am not sure how these battles are fought. However, what I read in the news and on the internet there is always a benchmark that is being violated by an enterprise that results in a lawsuit.
In technology it is not necessary that one copies the product piece by piece. Today, it is the technological innovation that matters. Lets say, a company comes up with a unique way of representing graphics and gets a patent for it. By law they are protected and for a while they will reap financial benefits of being the innovators. So if another firm copies their idea the innovator has the right to go to a court of law.
I agree - eliminating the granting of patents places those inventors and companies that don't have both the infrastucture and capital at a tremendous disadvantage. There is nothing to prevent another entity that has those resources from stealing IP at will. In principal, the purpose of granting patents is to encourage innovators to disclose their inventions in full to the public, in exchange for a short term, limited right to prevent others from making, using or selling the invention without permission.
I got your point. However, the way legal battles are fought over patent issues represents misuse of patent laws. Recently, besides this Microsoft-Motorola battle, there are legal suits being contended in courts involving every big name IT firm you can think of. A slight resemblance is taken as a excuse for filing a patent infringement suit.
I do accept your point about R&D expenses pay back through patents but we should also keep in mind that currently a debate is going on over patent laws-validity over internet forums and soon it may end up being debated in court of laws.
@Waqas: I would disagree with you on this. I think the reason behind getting patents in the first place is to make money over an innovation. This way the enterprises feel safe that their innovation will not be copied and they will get returns on the funds invested in research and development.
Today, most products are competing on cost basis. If an innovative design is copied by competitors they might be able to sell them on a lower cost. Hence, causing a dire threat to the innovating firm.
"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"
To me this is a move that looks suitable to Microsoft experts in the long because they might be seeing too many legal suits and complications while using hindsight unless German government lays it hands off from the neck of corporations. Corporations would never like focusing and spending their resources on legal battles instead of R&D areas and business expansion ideas.
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.