Adobe Systems Inc. today announced that a jury in the U.S. District Court of Delaware has reached a verdict in the case against Macromedia Inc. Winning the case, Adobe has been awarded US$2.8 million in damages and the company anticipates that the court will issue an injunction to stop Macromedia’s infringement.
Adobe claimed that the San Francisco software company violated two of its patents on tabbed palettes, which provide a user interface for displaying several sets of information in the same space. Adobe’s tabbed palettes permit users to drag data or editing effects from within a palette window into another screen. Adobe filed its case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in 2000.
Macromedia countered with a claim that the San Jose, California, publishing software company infringed on Macromedia’s patents for a draw-based editor for Web pages and a hierarchical structure editor for Web sites. Macromedia rejected Adobe’s patent-infringement claims, insisting that Adobe’s patents are unenforceable.
“We are very pleased with the verdict,” said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of Adobe’s graphics business unit, in a statement late Monday. “We’ve maintained all along that Macromedia infringes this patent. While we would have preferred to settle this issue out of court, we are satisfied that the validity of this key innovation has been upheld.”
Macromedia said it expects no material impact from this judgment on the company’s financial condition or market leadership.
“It is unfortunate, and we believe wrong, that Adobe has chosen this field to compete. Ultimately, it is our customers, and particularly our mutual customers, that will be harmed,” said Rob Burgess, chairman and CEO, Macromedia. “Nonetheless, we have no choice but to protect our right to innovate and must defend ourselves on this playing ground.”