Heinz Bardehle was a multi-talented person, which FICPI and the Intellectual Property community have been proud to be able to count on until his passing on 10 September 2015.
At Heinz’s funeral ceremony, his daughter Angelika Bardehle, and her two children, were joined by the national and worldwide aggrieved IP-community, represented by Mr. Raimund Lutz, Vice President of the EPO, Ms. Beate Schmidt, President of the German Federal Patent Court, Ms. (Dr.) Regina Hock, Leiterin der Hauptabteilung 4 Verwaltung und Recht GPTO, Ms. (Dr.) Brigitte Böhm, President of the Patentanwaltskammer, Mr. Jürgen Schmidtchen, FICPI Deputy Secretary General, Mr. (Dr.) Kuntz-Hallstein, previous President of GRUR, together with Mr. Uwe Borchert, representing Heinz’s firm, and many other well known colleagues with whom Heinz had worked throughout his career.
Heinz Bardehle, FICPI President from 1981 to 1985 and since then FICPI President of Honour, was a dedicated German and European patent attorney with many different stages and successes in his professional life. He was a hardworking, intelligent and eloquent representative of his profession, impressing his clients, colleagues, adversaries and officials alike. He was an enduring discussion partner with great persistency.
One of the first stages of Heinz’s career was his joining Siemens AG in 1955, where he remained until the 1960’s when he started his own private practice. He was always willing to set out for new horizons and accept new challenges, and he later joined the firm Puschmann Borchert Bardehle.
Heinz Bardehle was active until only recently and even in his last year he continued to impress each time he provided his systematically well-structured and convincing arguments. One of his passions in his professional life was the advancing of the intellectual community and the respective legal framework. It was a personal mission for him, as so well expressed by his opening words at the well-remembered 1985 Augsburg Congress, which he significantly organised together with his friends at FICPI:
Wenn es den Organisatoren dieses Kongresses gelingen wird, Sie hierfür zu interessieren und vielleicht sogar zu begeistern, dann hat sich die Arbeit der Zusammenstellung des Programms und der Gewinnung der Sprecher gelohnt, dann wird durch Ihre Mitwirkung der Kongreß für uns alle lehrreich sein, und er wird trotz des harten Arbeitsprogramms uns allen Freude machen. Wir sind alle nur Diener des gleichen Systems und können dafür dankbar sein, daß wir in einen so schönen Beruf geführt worden sind, der uns an wichtiger Stelle für den technischen Fortschritt und damit für den Fortschritt der Menschheit wirken läßt. Ich empfinde das als ein Glück und leite daraus die moralische Verpflichtung ab, auch für den Fortschritt des Patentrechts etwas zu tun.
He was constantly able to effectively link with many colleagues all over the world and convey his ideas, and never failed to build firm friendships.
Although I am part of the younger generation, I had the opportunity to meet him in person on different occasions, when I also was impressed by his brilliance in conveying his ideas; however, others knew him much better than myself, and I have scooped information from a huge reservoir of memories for which I would like especially to thank Brigitte Böhm, Uwe Borchert, Alberto de Elzaburu, Doug Deeth, John Orange and Jürgen Schmidtchen. I would like to mention some memories collected from this reservoir:
John Orange, President of Honour, highlighted for instance that Heinz was, unwittingly, instrumental in his involvement in FICPI. During the Augsburg Congress Heinz demonstrated that this was the right organization for John. Not only was the organization incredible, but so was the working program. The theme was “The Height of the Inventive Step”, at the core of our profession of course and very close to Heinz’s heart: “Heinz was fully supportive of the Patent Harmonisation Treaty, one of the main topics at that time, and had a strong view that the patent system must be made to work for the innovators. Heinz was at that time part of the official German delegation at the Diplomatic Conference. He saw the treaty as a balanced package of benefit to the users and energetically supported it. Of course the Harmonisation Treaty included a provision for a grace period, which became a focus of Heinz’s energy when the treaty did not proceed.”.
John further pointed out that Heinz was also part of the official delegation at the PLT Diplomatic Conference: “FICPI was fighting a proposal to prohibit the need to appoint a local agent, which if implemented would have had a major impact on the profession. At a crucial point in the meeting, it became apparent that the relevant provision would be construed differently by the US, the proponent of the change, than other countries, resulting in an inequality. Heinz’s stature in the IP world became apparent when he made a strong and passionate intervention, as only Heinz could, that led to a reconsideration and compromise. I was always in awe of his ability to travel, engage people, and in particular his passion for the topic addressed, usually the grace period in later years”.
Many other colleagues share the admiration and friendship, which for instance Alberto de Elzaburu, another former FICPI President and President of Honour, put into words: “My wife Lula and I have unforgettable memories of our close friendship with Heinz. Professionally parallel lives and personally a great friendship, and on my part, a great admiration for his singular personal and professional values.”
The fact that Heinz became a moral instance was also an impression on which Ms. Böhm, current President of the German Patentanwaltskammer, focussed.
In the German Patentanwaltskammer, to which all German Patent Attorneys belong, Heinz took on responsibility in the Board in 1969, became President from 1971 to 1973, but even thereafter continued to be active thereon. Heinz was also active in AIPPI, GRUR, epi, SACEPO, he was a consultant to the German government at the Bundes¬ministerium der Justiz (BMJ). He was one of the driving forces for the EPC and its revision. Germany awarded him with the 1995 Federal Cross of Merit (Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse).
But apart from these professional and moral achievements he also adhered to the fine arts. He was for instance an excellentdancer and musician, as remembered by many. His piano playing was listened to and admired, be it during an impromptu performance at a FICPI ExCo, in the lobby of a hotel, or even at the USPTO after a patent related hearing there.
We will also remember him as a charming person with the charisma of an elder statesman and grandseigneur, as well as a tough intellectual, putting forward his ideas in a clear spoken manner in many ways.
FICPI mourns the passing of Heinz Bardehle and would like to thank him for and pay tribute to his contribution in shaping FICPI to what it is today and for advancing intellectual property matters in many aspects. We will miss him - but will convey his ideas into the future and let him continue to be our inspiration.
Dr. Alexander Wyrwoll
President - Communications Commission