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Adobe ordered to pay $33.8 million for patent infringement

Adobe owes a software company nearly $33.8 million for infringing a patent that covers a system for controlling access to digital content, a jury in Delaware federal court said in a verdict on Wednesday.

The jury agreed with ViaTech Technologies that Adobe’s technology for activating licensed copies of software like Acrobat and Photoshop violates ViaTech’s patent rights.

An Adobe spokesperson said that the company was disappointed with the verdict and “takes the integrity of the patent system seriously,” and that it is “exploring all post-trial and appellate options.”

“We are thrilled that the jury recognized the value of ViaTech’s innovations,” ViaTech attorney Denise De Mory said.

ViaTech said in its 2019 lawsuit that its eLicense software has been used by companies including computer-game makers and digital publishers to protect their content from unlicensed users. It accused Adobe’s software activation technology of infringing one of its patents for a license-control mechanism for digital files.

ViaTech requested an order blocking Adobe from infringing the patent and an unspecified amount of money damages. The lawsuit, originally filed in Massachusetts, was moved to Delaware in 2020.

Adobe denied the allegations and argued that the relevant parts of ViaTech’s patent were invalid.

Microsoft defeated a related lawsuit in 2017 after a Delaware federal judge determined that Microsoft’s Windows and Office software did not infringe the ViaTech patent. Reuters

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