Macromedia Patent Countersuit Stupidity

From today’s PRNewswire press release from Macromedia: “Macromedia, Inc. today announced it has filed counterclaims in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against Adobe Systems, Inc. for infringement of several Macromedia patents. This action was taken in direct response to Adobe’s initiation of a lawsuit against Macromedia for allegedly infringing two Adobe patents.”

What’s stupid about this is that a pair of patents, Nos. 5,151,998 and 5,204,969, “relate to visually displaying and editing sound waveforms and are infringed by its Adobe Premiere product.”

I seem to recall that there’s some significant prior art here, and that in fact the Sound-Droid, developed at Lucas Arts subsidiary, Droid Works, was the first ever digital audio editing workstation (DAW) which had the capability of displaying audio waveforms.

Sonic Solutions co-founders Andy Moorer and Bob Doris, Matthew Wood (still at Lucas), Craig Birkmaier, and others developed the Sound-Droid at least as early as 1990. Sonic Solutions was later the first company to make a business of selling high-end Macintosh-based DAWs which allowed people to edit audio graphically in a waveform view.

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