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Adobe Systems, Inc., likes to make the bold claim that “a majority of the images on the Web today were created or modified with one or more of Adobe’s products.” That may or may not be true. But certainly Adobe’s Photoshop image editing program and its flagship product, Acrobat .PDF, are ubiquitous in the business world. This omnipresence-Adobe’s software business is second in size only to Microsoft-helped attract new GC and senior vice president Karen Cottle. Cottle, 54, who replaced the retiring Colleen Pouliot earlier this year, says that she likes the size and pervasiveness of the San Jose-based company’s intellectual property practice. She had been GC of Sunnyvale’s Vitria Technology, Inc., an integration software business. “Vitria was a fairly small tech company. . . . Acrobat is everywhere right now,” Cottle says. At Adobe she is responsible for the company’s antipiracy, public policy, and litigation efforts. One of her first duties has been to oversee a copyright infringement suit Adobe has pursued against Macromedia, Inc., since August 2000. Countersuits and additional copyright issues have embroiled Adobe in a fight to protect the dominance of its data imaging. The result has been a legal trapeze that challenges even Acrobat’s agility.

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