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Adobe wins patent trial against Macromedia

A jury in Delaware has determined that Macromedia did infringe on technology patents held by Adobe Systems and has awarded Adobe $2.8m (£1.9m) in damages, the companies announced.

Adobe sued Macromedia in August 2000 charging that its Flash animation product makes use of patented technology developed by Adobe for its "tabbed palette", a feature that helps users organise information on their computer screens.

Along with its damages award, Adobe said it expects the court to issue an injunction that would prevent Macromedia from further infringement of Adobe patents.

Macromedia had filed a countersuit against Adobe raising patent infringement allegations of its own. Macromedia expects to begin presenting its case on 6 May, it said.

"It is unfortunate and, we believe, wrong, that Adobe has chosen this field to compete. Ultimately, it is our customers, and particularly our mutual customers, that will be harmed," said Rob Burgess, Macromedia's chairman and chief executive officer.

Macromedia said it does not expect the award to have any material impact on its financial condition.

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