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.

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