Macromedia's Photoshop patent lawsuit clarified

Last Saturday, AP reported that Macromedia Inc. claimed to own the patent to Adobe Systems Inc.'s image editing program Photoshop and their Web authoring program, GoLive. Although Macromedia has filed a lawsuit against Adobe, they do not claim to own the patent to Photoshop and GoLive -- only to certain functions and features.

"The two patents referred in the lawsuit address specific features and functions of Adobe's Photoshop and GoLive; not the entire products," a Macromedia spokesperson told MacCentral. "Macromedia does not claim to have 'patented Photoshop' as incorrectly stated in the AP story."

Specifically, Macromedia claims that Adobe has infringed on two of its patents, according to court documents obtained by MacCentral. One patent (Patent 299) registered by Macromedia on December 1, 1998 covers Draw-based Editor for Web Pages. The second patent (Patent 145) registered by Macromedia on June 8, 1999 covers Hierarchical Structure.

Macromedia claims that Adobe has knowingly violated these patents. According to the court papers, "Adobe has been, and currently is, directly and indirectly infringing the '299 Patent by making, using, marketing, selling, reselling, offering for sale, and/or inducing others to use, software for creating and editing Web pages including, without limitation, Adobe GoLive and Adobe Photoshop."

For the second patent, Macromedia says "Adobe has been, and currently is, directly and indirectly infringing the '145 Patent by making, using, marketing, selling, reselling, offering for sale, and/or inducing others to use software for creating and editing Web pages that implements a top-down approach to designing a Web site including, without limitation, Adobe GoLive.

Macromedia is asking the court for a judgment that Adobe has infringed on their patents; damages to compensate Macromedia for Adobe's infringement; and to order Adobe not to infringe on the two specified patents.

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Jim Dalrymple

Computerworld
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