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Adobe Takes Font Partners to Court

Adobe Systems seeking to enforce its claims to rights to embed certain fonts in electronic documents, and to dispute allegations of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has taken a font partner and its subsidiary to court.

The company Tuesday said it filed for declaratory relief in the U.S. District Court of San Jose, Calif., in an attempt to resolve a contractual dispute with International Typeface Corp. (ITC) over whether Adobe customers have the right to embed ITC fonts in electronic documents. The company said it also filed an arbitration proceeding in London to resolve a similar contractual dispute with ITC parent company Agfa Monotype.

"Many years ago, Adobe anticipated the shift to electronic documents," said Jim Heeger, senior vice president, cross-media products. "At that time, we obtained the embedding rights from our font partners necessary to permit the creation of electronic documents. We are now defending the rights we obtained for our customers to continue to conduct business in the electronic age."

Adobe also said that claims by Agfa Monotype and its subsidiary that it had violated the DMCA were false.

On Tuesday the company claimed Monotype made the claim about DMCA violation in order to gain leverage in contractual disputes with Adobe. Adobe said it has asked the court to declare that Acrobat does not violate the DMCA.

However, Monotype has not claimed that Adobe alters embedding bits, as internetnews.com mistakenly reported previously. In fact, Agfa Monotype's May statement about embedding was directed at an independent font designer, not Adobe.