Adobe, Macromedia reach agreement in patent lawsuit

Adobe Systems Inc. and Macromedia Inc. jointly announced on Monday that they have reached a settlement agreement on all litigation between the two companies. While terms of the settlement were not disclosed, "customers with products from either Adobe or Macromedia will not be affected," the companies said in a statement.

Adobe claimed that the San Francisco-based Macromedia 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.

On May 2, 2002, Adobe won its claim against Macromedia and was awarded US$2.8 million in damages. Just 8 days later, on May 10, 2002 Macromedia won its countersuit against Adobe and was given $4.9 million damages.

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