Adobe versus Linotype lawsuit

Uli's picture

At the Monotype website

we read about a new "Adobe vs. Linotype" lawsuit:

"On October 30, 2006, Adobe Systems filed an action in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California against Linotype alleging that Linotype breached its obligations under agreements between Linotype and Adobe by failing to pay all royalties due under those agreements, submitting inaccurate royalty reports, and using the fonts licensed under those agreements improperly and without authorization. Adobe requests unspecified money damages, a declaratory judgment, costs and attorneys’ fees. On March 2, 2007, the court entered an order staying the action. The parties have moved jointly to extend the existing stay until November 15, 2007. We intend to vigorously contest the action."

Who has more details concerning this new lawsuit?

paul d hunt's picture

Uli, i belive this is quite the wrong forum for these type of queries. You might try to find some lawsuit forums somewhere and see what facts you can find elsewhere.

William Berkson's picture

Paul, leaving aside Uli's past comments on font piracy, this current question does seem appropriate to Typophile, as it concerns the business side of fonts. I'd be interested to read more information if anyone knows.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Wait a second, aren't there enough details in the link you provided.

Uli's picture

>Uli, i belive this is quite the wrong forum for these type of queries.

I disagree. Further below in above document, Monotype writes:

An unfavorable outcome in this lawsuit could result in an increase of the amount of royalties we have to pay Adobe. Any royalties paid as a result of this or any successful challenge would increase our expenses and could negatively impact our relationship with such licensor, including by impairing our ability to continue to use and re-license technologies or fonts from that licensor. ... ... We have been in the past involved in litigation with third parties, including Adobe, to defend our intellectual property rights and have not always prevailed.

The "end user" as ordinary font buyer, who reads such statements made by Monotype alias Linotype, will think: Why should I want to pay for fonts, if even Monotype and Linotype do not want to pay for fonts?

aluminum's picture

Uli, I can't imagine anyone else in here would have more details than you. You seem to be the legal guy around here.

paul d hunt's picture

this current question does seem appropriate to Typophile, as it concerns the business side of fonts.

of course i was only speaking of myself above and it's simply my gut reaction that not everything needs to be discussed in a public forum. maybe that's just me?

ebensorkin's picture

will think

People ( font buyers I think you mean) will think many different things - assuming they are paying attention - which they are not.

I think for those who do notice that the dominant view will be that one company is suing another and it makes no difference to me. Still, I agree with Bill in as much as that if it changes the font business landscape in some important way I will want to know.

kegler's picture

we read about a new “Adobe vs. Linotype” lawsuit:...On October 30, 2006,
not really new

ordinary font buyer, who reads such statements made by Monotype alias Linotype
only if dredged from obscure corners of a public company's quartery report.

The term: Schadenfreude comes to mind.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

What ever it costs the loosing party will cost us. When Lino and Mono merged the price of postscript went from $21 to $24 dollars in which the rest of the big foundries followed suit too.

Mikey :-)

tamye's picture

Font licensing is damn cheap compared to what one used to have to pay to get a typeface to use. But we all know that.

Keep in mind that European foundries and designers are using the Euro or British pound as currency, both of which are now worth a lot more than the US dollar. Currency fluctuations can dramatically affect revenue and profit when contracts and sales are made internationally. Just think of how happy the Brits are when they purchase from myfonts - what a bargain!

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

I was recently browsing and to my jaw-dropping shock- the prices of many postscript fonts shot up to $42.00. Opentype $55.00.


It won't be long before the rest of the resellers follow :-/

tamye's picture

Some fonts have always been priced higher in the various Monotype libraries. It's probably those that you're seeing - check for historical comparisons before freaking too heavily :)

Why is it unacceptable to raise prices? It happens in every other market... all too often.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Not priced that hi for plain postscript. Have you checked for historical comparisons because all the fonts I've browsed are the ones I've seen the prices before and their prices are much higher. Because why? Because they can.

Its unacceptable because its not incremental. In other markets it has to move slowly. Other markets, we're generally referring to are manufactured goods, but fonts are made once and sold over and over. So economy or not I think its a rip off. If it was just localized to Monotype I wouldn't care too much, but since they are the Microsoft of the type world they set market price everywhere else. I'm just glad that I really don't care for much of the output coming out of Monotype these days. The indies get my business. There is better value (and quality) there.

tamye's picture

Without knowing which fonts you're talking about, Mikey, I couldn't possibly do any historical pricing comparisons. Having worked for several type foundries and distributors in the past decade, I know for a fact that a number of fonts under the Monotype Imaging umbrella have been priced in the $40 range for years. Before I started working in the type business, I managed font libraries and licensed a lot of type for a variety of companies from many different distributors. I'm familiar with pricing from both sides historically speaking, otherwise I wouldn't comment.

Even some typefaces that are the same design but licensed from different sources can have different pricing. It can get kind of complicated to be a typeface distributor, and I understand that it might be confusing to someone who has no knowledge of the business side of type.

I see a lot of markets moving quickly in price increases. If one doesn't like the prices at one foundry/distributor, there are myriad other choices. Monotype does not dictate the pricing in the worldwide font sales market - many factors go into determining pricing. With so many type designers and foundries operating independently, I don't think you have to worry that all font prices are going to unilaterally double or triple in the near future. Since you prefer indie type, it seems like you are in good shape.

EK's picture

With taxes, increasing rates doesn't necessarily mean increasing revenues.

Here, will increasing the rates discourage new small entrants? Will those who've paid already benefit?

crossgrove's picture

Other hidden costs: While you don't always see this, anyone running a web store has costs that can change; they might have to migrate to a new server, they might have to completely switch their web merchant software, their server might have raised their prices, the site might have become so busy that the costs to run it are going up. It's a little simplistic to say "making fonts doesn't cost more, so the font prices should never go up". There's the matter of where the type comes from, is it licensed directly or resold? Is the OT version something that was generated automatically, or painstakingly made by a person? Is the PS version actually the same one generated in 1989, or has it been updated several times, improving overall reliability? Have the royalty arrangements changed between foundries? When you buy Minion from Adobe, there have probably been several versions of what appear to be the same exact file.

I'm not sure why you think price increases like this aren't incremental. If the price actually doubled every year after not changing for a decade, that would be unexpected. From $40 to $42 isn't what I call exhorbitant.

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