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Adobe Systems has accused a Florida man of “piratical” conduct after he “systematically” infringed the trademarks and copyright associated with the company’s computer software.
The American software company filed its complaint at the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday, August 20.
All Adobe software is licensed, but licensees are only granted the right to use the software; they are not permitted to resell it, unless such an agreement has been made with Adobe.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has registered a number of word marks to cover Adobe’s software products, including ‘Adobe’ (number 1,475,593) and ‘Lightroom’ (3,288,605).
Adobe also has figurative marks featuring the word ‘Adobe’ and/or its logo, and Adobe’s software is protected by copyright. For example, the Lightroom software is protected by US copyright number TX0007568685.
According to Adobe, a Florida-based individual called Arthur Schwartz has been offering counterfeit Adobe-branded software for sale through the platforms www.directsoftwareconnection.com and www.perfectshareware.com. Schwartz allegedly uses Adobe’s IP to advertise these counterfeit software products.
In November 2017, Adobe said an investigator purchased Photoshop CS6 Extended and Lightroom 4 from one of Schwartz’s websites for the price of $151.
The investigator allegedly received an email thanking the consumer for making an “Adobe purchase” and informing the investigator that the order had been “upgraded” to include the Adobe C26 Master Collection at no extra charge.
Adobe said the email, and others sent after the purchase, contained links to key generator programmes used to create product licensing keys to circumvent Adobe’s copyright protection systems.
“Each serial key number was a non-genuine, counterfeit,” the suit said.
Schwartz’s infringing conduct has resulted “in thousands if not millions of dollars in ill-begotten gains”, Adobe claimed, while confusing consumers and tarnishing Adobe’s reputation.
Adobe’s claims against Schwartz include copyright and trademark infringement, trademark dilution, circumvention of copyright protection systems, false designation of origin, misleading advertising, unfair competition, and fraudulent business practices.
The software company has asked the court to permanently enjoin Schwartz from continuing his “fraudulent business acts”, including the advertising and sale of counterfeit software.
Adobe also requested triple damages, restitution, compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees.
Adobe Systems Incorporated, Arthur Schwartz, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, counterfeit software, computer software