Gone in 2011
A letter to the editor in last week's upFront.eZine newsletter noted that Logitech's new top-of-the-line mouse is a loser. So, the letter writer instead bought a new 3D and 2D mouse from 3Dconnexion, after reading positive reviews. "I am grateful for Logitech's failure because it forced me to look deeper into my other options and allowed me to give my money to another company that I would not have otherwise considered," he said.
In the back of my brain, I recalled that Logitech had spun off 3Dconnexion, and so I let his statement stand.
Some readers, however, wrote immediately to explain the reader was still giving his money to Logitech, because it owns 3Dconnexion. Did it? Clearly, my back-of-the-brain notion wasn't sufficient in the area of supporting evidence, so I investigated further.
Let's Ask the Horse's Mouth
First place to look: the horse's mouth.
The 3dconnexion Web site's Company Profile page has scrubbed any mention of its owners, instead waxes on about how great their mice are. No mention of Logitech. As well, no recent press release mentions Logitech, which a subsidiary would do in order to bask in reflected glory of a normally well-liked company.
Let's Ask Google
Next place the look: the oracle of the intertubes. Let's ask Google:
Clearly, Google thinks Logitech owns 3dconnexion. So why does 3dconnexion not declare the ownership with pride?
Accessing the cached version of the Web page
When I click on the cached version of the page, Google shows me the result from when it trawled the site six days ago. Problem is, the page in its cache from six days ago is the same one I saw today. It does not say who owns 3Dconnexion.
So Google is reading one thing, and telling us another. Chalk that one up for the ongoing investigation into the behemoth.
Let's Ask Bing
Actually, I use Bing all the time, because I don't care to give Google more information than my Android phone already does. Also, Bing pays me to search with them, Google doesn't. And so every few months I get to present my wife with a $5 Starbucks coupon, and she uses it to buy the biggest latte the chain sells.
So, let's ask Bing.Well, that seems straightforward. Bing does not, however, provide a link to the source for its assertion. It does have a Feedback button, which I clicked and told the microsofties about what I had found (see below).
Let's Ask Wikipedia
But what about my notion that Logitech sold 3Dconnexion? Let's ask Wikipedia:
Oops, that page hasn't been updated in ages.
Let's Ask Logitech
Let's ask Logitech. Here I credit Henry S, who helped me research this question. He came across the most official reference that there cam be regarding corporate maneuvers: the annual report.
On page 241, we learn that...
In fiscal year 2011, the Company sold its equity interest in certain 3Dconnexion subsidiaries, and its intellectual property rights related to the manufacture and sale of certain 3Dconnexion products, to a group of third party individuals and certain 3Dconnexion employees.
A full valuation allowance of $2.2 million was provided for $5.7 million of capital loss carry forward from the sale of 3Dconnexion Inc. in the U.S. as the Company determined that it is more likely than not that the Company would not generate adequate capital gains in the next five years before the capital loss expires under the U.S. tax law. The remaining valuation allowance of $0.1 million represents a full valuation allowance for certain foreign tax credit carry forwards in the U.S.
In short, 3Dconnexion was sold to its employees nine years ago, because Logitech determined it would not be making a profit from it any time soon.