The FINANCIAL — Microsoft is moving logistics operations from Germany to the Netherlands due to its legal dispute with Motorola Mobility Holdings in a German court that threatens to disrupt its business, a Microsoft spokesman said Monday.
The spokesman said the patent dispute gives it "no other choice" than to move to the neighbouring country. The spokesman couldn't say how many jobs at Microsoft would be affected by the decision.
Motorola didn't immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Roughly a hundred jobs at outsourcing service provider Arvato, owned by Bertelsmann AG, will be affected by the move, a person close to the matter said.
Microsoft is currently in litigation with Motorola Mobility on both sides of the Atlantic over patents.
According to Borsa Italiana – London Stock Exchange Group, last week it asked a U.S. court for a restraining order to prevent Motorola Mobility from taking action based on a ruling expected from a court in Mannheim later this month.
The motion is aimed at preserving Microsoft's ability to sell in Germany its Windows software, Xbox 360 videogame console and other products that rely on the video patents at issue in a battle with Motorola.
Microsoft's decision to move to the Netherlands is significant as it is the first time a major technology company has shifted its German operations abroad over fears that potential court decisions could harm business.
German courts, which preside over the largest economy in Europe, have become a hotspot in the tablet and smartphone patent disputes taking place between major players including Motorola and Microsoft, as well as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics.