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June 13th, 2000

[3:30 PM] Adobe Targets Macintosh News Network, AppleInsider, In Law Suit
by Kyle D'Addario

Adobe has pounced on the latest information leak from one of the Apple "rumor sites," AppleInsider. Last week, AppleInsider posted information regarding forthcoming releases of Adobe's flagship product, Photoshop, and the associated Web image manipulation tool, Image Ready. Version 6 of Photoshop and version 3 of Image Ready are products that are not yet announced or available, yet AppleInsider posted information regarding the new releases.

Adobe is claiming that the feature sets for the new software are "trade secrets" and publication of such information is a violation. However, it is rare that these types of violations come from outside a company. According to an article at Law.com, "'It's rare that type of information is acquired by someone outside the company,' said Henry Bunsow, a partner at San Francisco, Calif.'s Keker & Van Nest. Normally, he said, companies themselves announce products they are working on in order to make their competitors' products obsolete."

According to the Law.com article:

    In Adobe Systems Inc. v. Macintosh News Network, 00-20596, filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif. on May 31, Adobe requests the court to enjoin Macintosh News Network from soliciting or disclosing Adobe's trade secrets and for recovery of damages which it says "could conservatively amount to tens of millions of dollars."

    The complaint says, "Adobe will suffer lost sales of products currently on the market, and Adobe's competitors will have the advantage of knowing the details of Adobe's newest products months before said products reach the marketplace."

While Adobe is claiming that there was a violation, Apple Insider director Monish Bhatia claims that the information posted was publicly available. If this information were indeed "publicly available" Adobe will have a difficult time proving its claim. As of this writing, AppleInsider has removed the information regarding the Adobe products

While no other information is available, Insanely Great Mac is reporting that a mid-July court date has been set for the initial hearing. Another good report on this story can be found at TidBITS.

The Mac Observer Spin: Rumor sites have long published information not "publicly" available, and in fact that is their bread and butter. However, as Adobe's actions have pointed out, the publication of such information is often damaging to the related company. Top flight software companies like Adobe have supported the Mac through both good and lean times. Hopefully actions such as these will not impact Adobe's plans for future product releases on the Mac platform.

Adobe -Apple Insider



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