SoftMan Products Co. v. Adobe Systems Inc.


SoftMan Products Co. v. Adobe Systems Inc.

Infobox Court Case
name = SoftMan Products Co. v. Adobe Systems
court = United States District Court for the Central District of California


imagesize = 95
date_decided = October 19, 2001
full_name = SoftMan Products Company, LLC v. Adobe Systems Inc., et al.
citations = 171 F. Supp.2d 1075; 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17723; 45 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d (Callaghan) 945;17 U.S.C. §§ 109, 202 (Copyright Act of 1976); 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 1125 (Lanham Act); U.C.C. § 2-403
judges = Dean D. Pregerson
prior_actions = Preliminary injunction entered for plaintiff, 9-10-01
subsequent_actions = none
opinions = Plaintiff software company's product was sold rather than licensed to the defendant, who was therefore entitled to resell it in separate components. The defendant was not bound by the software "shrinkwrap license" (or End User License Agreement) because the terms of that license were never assented to. Preliminary injunction previously entered for the plaintiff was vacated, and a new injunction denied.

"SoftMan Products Co. v. Adobe Systems Inc." was a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in 2001.

Adobe Systems contended in a counterclaim that the original plaintiff, SoftMan, infringed its copyright and violated the terms of Adobe's licenses by selling as individual units the software titles that were purchased from Adobe as a single boxed "Collection". The individual titles had their own CDs.

Under the first-sale doctrine it is possibly legal to resell software; Adobe tried to maintain that SoftMan had not purchased any software but only a license (the EULA) which prohibits, among many things, reselling of their software. The Court decided that because of "the circumstances surrounding the transaction" that Softman actually had bought a copy of the software, not just a license as Adobe maintained, because as far as the purchaser is concerned the license is very similar to owning a copy in that it is paid for once for perpetual use of the software. The Court also found that SoftMan had not infringed on the EULA (even if it had been upheld) because SoftMan had never run the program. The EULA was only presented when the program was to be installed, it was not present on the packaging or as printed material.

ee also

* List of leading legal cases in copyright law
* First-sale doctrine
* Copyright infringement of software
* Step-Saver Data Systems, Inc. v. Wyse Technology

External links

* The actual case from California Central Districts website [http://www.cacd.uscourts.gov/CACD/RecentPubOp.nsf/5738d25e31f54e3988256a8100701ebd/1c0109b1a49387b288256b48007a04cd/%24FILE/CV00-04161DDP.pdf PDF]
* A HTML version of the case [http://www.linuxjournal.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=NS-articles/briefs&file=softman-v-adobe] or [http://www.linuxjournal.com/xstatic/articles/web/2001-11/5628/softman-v-adobe.html]


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