Monday, July 12, 2004

Adobe Blasts Back at Patent Holding Company: Information Technology Innovation (ITI) filed suit against Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) in U.S. District Court in Colorado on June 2, 2004, seeking unspecified damages and an injunction against one of the biggest names in imaging software. Adobe made this information public in its SEC 10-Q filing on Thursday. In the filing, ITI alleges Adobe has infringed upon U.S. Patent Number 5,892,908, entitled, "Method of Extracting Network Information." ITI also is claiming that Adobe is infringing on this patent by the production and sale of its Acrobat product line. Adobe's Acrobat products create documents in the Acrobat portable document format (PDF) that then may be edited within Acrobat Standard or Professional, and viewed with its free Acrobat Reader.

Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director at Jupiter Research, said that ITI's suit provides another example of why patent reform is necessary in the technology sector, where vague and ambiguous patents have generated wasteful litigation.

For his part, Gartenberg believes that to some degree, people need to consider the source of the lawsuit. He pointed out that Adobe is an industry heavyweight reporting profitable earnings, while the plaintiff, in contrast, is an unknown.
"You don't sue poor people and poor companies. However, it is hard to imagine Adobe not prevailing in this case," Gartenberg said.

- Sounds pretty confident to me . . . .

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