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Macromedia Wins Award Against Adobe

The patent infringement series, round 2 By Dave Nagel
Macromedia announced Friday a victory in its first patent infringement suit against Adobe. Exactly a week earlier, Adobe had won a patent infringement suit against Macromedia for $2.8 million. Macromedia's victory in the second round garnered a judgment of $4.9 million.

The jury in the case found that Adobe had infringed on Macromedia's U.S. patents Nos. 5,467,443 (relating to changing blended elements and automatic re-blending of elements) and 5,151,998 and 5,204,969 (relating to visually displaying and editing sound waveforms). The jury found that the patents were violated by Adobe Illustrator and Premiere, respectively. The jury also found U.S. Patent No. 5,151,998 to be invalid. Macromedia said it intends 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.

Macromedia brought another patent infringement suit against Adobe in October 2001. This case is scheduled for June 2003.

"The score is now Adobe one, Macromedia one, customers zero," said Rob Burgess, chairman and CEO, Macromedia, in a prepared statement. "Macromedia is absolutely committed to defending the right to innovate."

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Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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