Shell & Slate Software Corp. announced today that it has filed suit against Adobe Systems Inc. in Los Angeles, Calif. The suit was filed on November 18. Shell & Slate’s lawsuit alleges that Adobe misappropriated trade secrets and breached its contract when the company introduced the Healing Brush texture cloning tool in Adobe Photoshop 7.
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Shell & Slate is the latest effort of Ben Weiss, the software developer who worked with Kai Krause to create the graphics engines used in Kai’s Power Tools, originally published by HSC Software. HSC Software eventually became MetaTools, then MetaCreations. MetaCreations later sold Kai’s Power Tools to Corel Corp.
Weiss founded Shell & Slate after leaving MetaCreations in 2000. Shell & Slate’s core graphics technology is used in Slick Transitions & Effects, Vol. 3 from GeeThree.com, a set of custom effects plug-ins for Apple iMovie.
Similar to Photoshop’s Clone Stamp, Photoshop’s Healing Brush paints over part of an image with a sample taken from another part, but matches the painted area with similar shading and tone, creating a more seamless blend.
“We believe that this claim has no merit and intend to defend it vigorously,” Ray Campbell, senior corporate counsel for Adobe, said in a statement to MacCentral. “The ‘healing brush’ technology referred to was created by and is proprietary to Adobe.”
The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles, in the U.S. Federal District Court, Central District of California. Shell & Slate is represented Gary Heckler of The Heckler Law Group, an intellectual property firm based in Los Angeles, as well as Stephen W. Tropp of Orlando, Fla.