SoftMan v. Adobe Cases of Interest >  Cyberlaw

SoftMan v. Adobe

SoftMan Production Company v. Adobe Systems Inc.


SoftMan Production Company (“SoftMan”) is a software company that distributes computer software from their website www.buycheapsoftware.com.

Adobe Systems Inc. (“Adobe”) is a software development and publishing company that created a software bundle called “Adobe Collections” which is marketed cheaper than if you were to buy each software piece separately. One example of a collection included Photoshop, Acrobat, Pagemaker, and Illustrator and holds all necessary copyright and trademark protections.


Adobe alleges that SoftMan has infringed their copyright and trademark protections by selling on their website individual parts of the Adobe Collections software bundle and violating the terms of Adobe’s licenses. Adobe has also stated they have known of SoftMan has been in this business since 1997. Adobe is filing for an injunctive relief against SoftMan to stop him from selling their product.
Adobe’s EULA prohibits the individual distribution of software that was originally distributed as part of a collection. Thus Adobe alleges that SoftMan has exceeds the scope of the EULA and infringed upon their copyright protections – specifically distribution and reproduction. SoftMan claims that the First Sale Doctrine allows for the resale of Adobe’s Collection software. Adobe asserts that if first sale of their collection is permissible, SoftMan has still violated their copyright protection by distributed individual parts of their software collection and that SoftMan’s actions may cause irreparable harm to their company through loss of sales and dilution of the their trademarks.


The court found that Adobe did not demonstrate the likelihood of success on the merits for their trademark and copyright claims and that Adobe has not demonstrated that they will suffer irreparable harm if action is not taken. Adobe has known about SoftMan’s software selling website since 1997 and now filed suit in 2001. The court denies Adobe’s application for a preliminary injunction against SoftMan.

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