Saturday, August 12, 2000

Adobe Inc. sues over patent breach

The Associated Press

        NEW YORK — Adobe Systems Inc., maker of the dominant PC graphics software Photoshop, has sued Macromedia Inc., a leading maker of Internet design software, over a patent on how information is displayed on a computer screen.

        The suit, filed Thursday in federal court in Delaware, alleges that several Macromedia programs use a way of organizing the work space on the screen, called “tabbed palettes,” that Adobe patented in 1994.

        One of the programs is Macromedia Flash 5, used to create many Web page animations. Web design programs Dreamweaver and Fireworks are also named, as is FreeHand, an illustration program.

        San Francisco-based Macromedia said in a news release that it believes the patent is invalid and unenforceable, and that the lawsuit is without merit.

        A Web site Adobe set up to publicize the suit acknowledges that “tabbed palettes” are a common feature of programs, but says this is testimony to “the Adobe development effort that went into the invention.”


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