Cloud computing

German Federal Court of Justice confirms Zoe Life software patent

The German Federal Court of Justice has confirmed a central software patent of investor Zoe Life Technologies, which covers cloud computing. The investor now wants to enforce the patent against Microsoft, among others. The latest development could see the beginning of a new series of lawsuits.

26 November 2021 by Christina Schulze

The Zoe Life patent protects a cloud computing technique that is also under consideration for Microsoft's Azure ©Gorodenkoff/ADOBE STOCK

Until now, controversy has surrounded the enforceability of software patents. But a ruling by the German Federal Court of Justice has fully upheld investor Zoe Life’s key patent on cloud computing. This marks a success for the software patent industry.

Jochen Reich

Zoe Life makes a splash

DE 600 31 088.4 protects a technique for secure data transmission between the cloud and user. It is used, for example, in one of the company’s programs for stock traders.

But Zoe Life believes there are numerous potential infringers, resulting in the investor suing Microsoft at the Munich Regional Court.

The German court has not yet set a trial date for this action, although the company has also filed a lawsuit in the UK.

The patent has already expired, so it is only retrospective damages that are at stake. Zoe Life, which had acquired the patent from data analytics platform Ravenpack, also invests in numerous start-ups.

Michael Schramm

Software patent specialism

Patent attorney and software specialist Jochen Reich regularly provides comprehensive advice to the investor and its subsidiaries. In addition to the current case, Reich-IP also frequently works together with the Munich firm 2sip on other cases involving software patents.

Günther Schneider

In Germany, Microsoft regularly works with Bardehle Pagenberg.

The mixed firm also defends the US software giant against Philips over tablets and streaming technology, as well as against Uniloc over network technology.

Tilmann Müller-Stoy, Bardehle Pagenberg, patent litigation Munich

Tilmann Müller-Stoy

Zoe Life Technologies
Reich-IP (Munich): Jochen Reich (patent attorney)
2sip (Munich): Michael Schramm, Günther Schneider (patent attorney)
Rinkler (Karlsruhe): Axel Rinkler (lawyer admitted to the Federal Court of Justice)

Microsoft
Bardehle Pagenberg (Munich): Christian Haupt, Georg Anetsberger (both patent attorneys), Tilman Müller-Stoy

Federal Court of Justice, 5th Senate (X ZR 98/19)
Klaus Bacher (presiding judge), Fabian Hoffmann, Hermann Deichfuß, Nina Franziska Marx, Tim Crummenerl