Press release of January 16, 2013

On January 8, 2013 the Dusseldorf District Court rejected claims for patent infringement brought by Via Vadis Controlling GmbH against Skype Software Sarl represented by BARDEHLE PAGENBERG (Case No. 4b O 11/11).

In this lawsuit – which is part of a series of further proceedings brought by the Via Vadis group in the United States and Luxembourg –, Via Vadis alleged infringement of the German part of European patent No. 1 151 591 B1 by the well-known Skype software, which allows users to communicate over the Internet by voice, video and instant messaging. The patent-in-suit relates to a data access and management system and a corresponding method. In short, the claimed teaching defines that the data is redundantly stored in several data storage means and is then shifted between the data storage means independently of a client access. According to the patent-in-suit, this enables an optimization of the data access in distributed and networked computer structures.

In the oral hearing on December 6, 2012 before the Dusseldorf District Court, the Presiding Judge voiced substantive doubts about the alleged infringement of the patent-in-suit, which could not be resolved by the plaintiff. As expected, the District Court now rejected the patent infringement suit with its decision of January 8, 2013 based on the finding that there is at least no shifting of data between data storage means in the attacked Skype system. The District Court emphasized that it was able to find non-infringement based on the submissions coordinated by BARDEHLE PAGENBERG, i.e., Skype does not realize the asserted claims of the patent-in-suit. Accordingly, also Via Vadis’ request for disclosure of the Skype source code was rejected as the Court saw no uncertainties concerning the technical realization of the attacked Skype system based on the comprehensive factual presentations submitted by Skype. Hence, the Court ruled entirely in favor of Skype. The decision is subject to appeal and not yet final.

Legal Representatives of Skype Software Sarl:

Dr. Tilman Müller-Stoy (Attorney-at-Law, Partner),
Peter K. Hess (Patent Attorney, Partner),
Bastian Best (Patent Attorney),
Jörg Wahl (Attorney-at-Law),

Legal Representatives of Via Vadis Controlling GmbH:

AMPERSAND (Munich): Hosea Haag (Attorney-at-Law)
Kehl, Ascherl, Liebhoff & Ettmayr (Munich): Andreas Ascherl (Patent Attorney)

Dusseldorf District Court (4b. Civil Chamber):

Ulrike Voß (Presiding Judge)