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Adobe, Macromedia settle patent suits

The rival software makers settle all claims in a series of patent suits between the companies. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Rival software makers Macromedia and Adobe Systems announced Monday that they had settled all claims in a series of patent suits between the companies.

Adobe last May won the first of a series of suits. A jury in the U.S. District Court of Delaware agreeing with Adobe's contention that the user interface of Macromedia's Flash Web animation tool infringed on Adobe's patent for "tabbed palettes," a feature that allows users of design software to rearrange the work space on the PC screen. Adobe was awarded $2.8 million in damages in the case and was further seeking a judicial injunction preventing Macromedia from selling the infringing software.

Macromedia prevailed a few days later in the same court with its countersuit. Macromedia was awarded $4.9 million in the case.

A second Macromedia countersuit, filed last year in U.S. District Court for Northern California, was scheduled for trial next year.

Adobe and Macromedia have emerged as fierce business competitors, with Adobe especially looking to cut into the commanding lead held by Macromedia's Dreamweaver in the market for professional Web design software.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.