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Adobe Systems Inc., whose copyright infringement claims against a Russian programmer has generated worldwide protests, is facing its own infringement problems. A U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles tentatively ruled Tuesday against the San Jose, Calif.-based maker of graphics and publishing software and ordered it to stop selling InDesign and any other products that allegedly violate the copyright of software owned by Trio Systems LLC. Trio Systems, based in Pasadena, Calif., has established a “likelihood of success on the merits” of its copyright infringement lawsuit against Adobe, the judge stated in granting the preliminary injunction. “We’re disappointed with the court’s order,” said Adobe spokeswoman Holly Campbell. “We disagree with its findings, but we will comply with it.” Campbell acknowledged that Adobe’s InDesign 1.5 version and InCopy 1.1 version contain Trio’s underlying software code, but would not comment on specific allegations that Adobe violated a licensing agreement with Trio. Adobe has countersued Trio and will continue to defend the case, Campbell said. The company also thinks the issue is somewhat moot since Adobe will soon release new versions that do not contain Trio’s software, she said. All of that will be up for debate when the lawsuit goes to trial later, said Henry Gradstein, attorney for Trio Systems. Trio is seeking damages, at least $10 million, for lost licensing fees from sold copies of InDesign and InCopy. “Adobe is one of the most aggressive copyright infringement litigants in the country, but the judge has determined they probably violated our copyright,” Gradstein said. “And instead, they deny it and accuse us of being the bad guys. It’s hypocrisy in the extreme.” The Trio case comes on the heels of another copyright infringement case that prosecutors brought against a Russian programmer at the behest of Adobe. Dmitry Sklyarov, 27, was charged with violating the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. He and his employer, ElComSoft Co. Ltd. of Moscow, were charged with releasing a program that lets readers disable copyright restrictions on Adobe’s electronic-book software. The program is legal in Russia. Adobe eventually dropped its support of the case after Internet policy groups threatened to boycott the company’s products. Santa Clara County prosecutors last week dropped the charges against Sklyarov in exchange for his testimony against his employer, ElcomSoft, which still faces criminal prosecution. Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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