“At first sight, one might think that court, lawyers’ and other fees (expert witnesses, interpreters etc.) and incremental business travel make patent litigation a real money-making opportunity for Germany,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents. “But the popularity of certain German courts among patent holders seeking injunctions has an increasingly visible downside.”
“Microsoft’s recent announcement of the ongoing relocation of its European distribution center from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia to the Netherlands certainly served as a wake-up call, resulting in unprecedented nationwide press coverage of the problematic aspects of the country’s lopsided patent litigation system,” Mueller reports. “Consumers have already experienced restrictions of choice, and removals of functionality. For example, users who access Apple’s iCloud and MobileMe services from German territory don’t receive push notifications of new iCloud/MobileMe emails, ‘thanks to’ a Motorola patent of uncertain validity.”
Mueller reports, “Now I’ve found out that taxpayers in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, which runs the Mannheim courts, will have to pay millions of euros (corresponding to an even greater dollar amount) to Motorola due to its enforcement of a couple of patents (one of which is standard-essential) against Apple, unless that dispute is settled very soon.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Florian Mueller” for the heads up.]