Macromedia 1, Adobe 1 in patent disputes

In an ongoing duel over patents, Macromedia Inc. Friday said a jury has ruled in its favor on claims that competitor Adobe Systems Inc. infringed three of its patents.

A jury ordered Adobe to pay $4.9 million in damages to Macromedia after ruling that Adobe's Illustrator and Premiere desktop software products infringe its patents, Macromedia said. The San Francisco company said it also plans to ask the court to issue an injunction to stop Adobe from distributing that software.

Last week, a Delaware jury awarded Adobe, based in San Jose, California, $2.8 million in damages in a separate patent suit against Macromedia. Adobe charged that Macromedia's Flash animation software used patented technology developed by Adobe used to help users navigate features in the software.

"The score is now Adobe one, Macromedia one, customers zero," Rob Burgess, chairman and chief executive officer of Macromedia, said in a statement A spokeswoman for Macromedia Friday reaffirmed the company's intent to appeal last week's verdict against it.

Yet another patent suit against Adobe, brought by Macromedia in October 2001, is scheduled to be heard beginning in June 2003, Macromedia said in the statement Friday. It relates to technology for Web authoring and the creation of tables.

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