RealTime IT News

Patent Dispute: Macromedia 1, Abobe 1

Like a classic heavyweight boxing match, the pendulum has swung to the side of Macromedia Inc. in its patent infringement fight with competitor and Adobe Systems .

The San Francisco, Calif.-based Macromedia announced a victory in its patent infringement counterclaim following a $4.9 million award for damages against Adobe.

The $4.9 million in damages almost doubles the $2.8 million awarded to Adobe in the first round of the litigation two weeks ago.

"The score is now Adobe one, Macromedia one, customers zero," said Macromedia CEO Rob Burgess. "Macromedia is absolutely committed to defending the right to innovate."

Burgess said Macromedia plans to ask the court to issue an injunction to stop Adobe's infringement, and also intends to appeal the verdict in the initial Adobe case.

In the latest jury award, Adobe was found to infringe all three Macromedia patents, relating to the changing of blended elements and automatic re-blending of elements within the Adobe Illustrator product. The patents in question also relate to visually displaying and editing sound waveforms and are infringed by the Adobe Premiere product, Macromedia said.

Adobe, which won a $2.8 million award two weeks ago, has already requested an injunction in the first suit. A third patent suit, filed by Macromedia last year in Northern California, is due to go to trial soon..

Adobe, which has headquarters in San Jose, Calif., first sued Macromedia in August 2000, alleging patent infringement on a user-interface patent called "tabbed palettes" which is patented by Adobe. Macromedia, which added the technique to its Flash multimedia-authoring program, has countersued and plans to appeal that ruling.