Saturday, January 08, 2005

FSPA files suit against Diebold over ATM repair

In a different variant of the old Kodak and Xerox cases, the Financial and Security Products Association (FSPA) has filed suit in ND Ca against ATM maker Diebold because of Diebold's restrictive practices concerning choice of operating system, upgrades and advanced maintenance.

From Ivan Schneider at

-->Diebold clarified its position with a statement that indicated that it will sell parts directly to customers, which could then use a third party for installation. Similarly, it will provide access to its "standard service diagnostics" to customers, which could again choose an independent service provider. But the company will not make its "advanced diagnostic tools" available to either customers or third parties, citing an investment of "significant financial and intellectual resources" toward the development of those advanced tools, thus laying the groundwork for an intellectual property defense. The company also will require that Diebold technicians perform Triple-DES upgrades, as per security procedures that require manufacturers to track the sale of encryption devices.

Wich of FSPA argues that an ATM should be open at the customer's request to upgrade and repair without permission from the manufacturer. Furthermore, he adds, banks should be able to install their own choice of operating system on their ATMs without having to rely on the one shipped by the manufacturer. "It's insane for a Bank of America to have five different operating systems for their ATM fleet because they have five different types of ATMs out there," Wich insists. "The software decision has to move away from the hardware decision." <--

Depending upon the exact nature of the intellectual property discussed by Diebold (patent?), we might have an interesting jurisdictional question. If the "refusal to deal" amounts to a refusal to grant a license to "advanced maintenance" patents (when the ATM itself is purchased), does the CAFC get jurisdiction?


Post a Comment

<< Home