Patent Litigation on ELBA-Onlinebanking: GEISTWERT enforces TAN-SMS Patent against Raiffeisen.
In a total of 16 years of patent litigation surrounding the signature process used in online banking, the software company TeleTan has now prevailed against Raiffeisenlandesbank Öberösterreich before the Vienna Commercial Court; TeleTan was represented by Constantin Kletzer, partner at the IP / IT law firm GEISTWERT, and patent attorney Andreas Gehring from Puchberger & Partner.
An enormous amount of money is transferred daily in Austria by ELBA customers via TAN-SMS procedure; whether a patent of the software company TeleTan was violated herewith was disputed for many years. “It’s about a two-way authorization process, including a code and add-on code when signing online transactions – combining the TAN with another code, and verifying the SMS-Tan and the additional code for authenticity. Online transfers have become safer”, says TeleTan CEO Bruno Steiner. The invention, which was granted by the European Patent Office at the turn of the millennium, led to a decade-long dispute between the software company and Austrian and German banks, as no license fee was paid by the banks. “The legal proceedings with the Commercial Court Vienna were very complex, because the facts in detail are complex. The court obtained several expert opinions, and it was then up to the attorneys involved to identify the favorable findings for the parties and submit them to the court. Ultimately, the court decided on the basis of its own expertise and expertise in favor or our client. This is a fine example of the well-functioning court system in Austria in patent infringement proceedings. The senate competent for patent cases also includes a technical expert, usually a patent attorney, who can accurately assess the difficult matter of patent infringement in addition to the professional judges”, states Constantin Kletzer , Partner at GEISTWERT.
The case against Raiffeisen Oberösterreich as the last Austrian bank has been ongoing since 2014 – and came to an end in September before the Vienna Commercial Court. The court ordered the bank to refrain from using ELBA online banking in its current form. In order for the hundreds of thousands of customers of Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich to be able to continue using the process, the parties reached an agreement – details not subject to disclosure. However, the existing proceedings in Germany parallel to the dispute in Austria continue – with the court in Dusseldorf and the Federal Court of Justice against the German Sparda-Bank West.
The case was closely followed by media. See here some examples: