Ahh but we agree that MP3 was developed inside German labs. Check out this Wiki entry
for the history of MP3 (Karlheinz Brandenburg led the Fraunhofer team; initially he worked for Bell).
Back to the original question... the modern e-book devices are all based on E Ink technology, which was "discovered" by a MIT MediaLab spin-off, E Ink, and partly funded and supported by Dutch Phillips (in 2000, they provided the backplanes) and also Sony (first major customer at a time when E Ink was almost dead). Today, iRex = Philips spin-off, so if you look at it from this perspective, the development of E Ink devices even today is mostly in the hands of the original people supporting E Ink. And, as usual with anything in technology, we also have the Chinese derivatives.