Altsys sues Aldus; Suit is linked to proposed merger p. 37

By: Jim Rosenberg ONLY WEEKS AFTER being sued by Scitex and wooed by Adobe Systems Inc., Seattle-based Aldus Corp. was named in another lawsuit.
Unrelated to the color-trapping technology at issue in the Scitex Corp. litigation (E&P, March 19, p. 57), the complaint filed April 11 in the 95th Judicial District Court in Dallas by Altsys Corp. is related directly to Aldus' proposed merger with Adobe (E&P, March 26, p. 28).
Altsys, based in Richardson, Texas, licensed to Aldus the core technology used in its FreeHand desktop drawing application.
Altsys president and CEO Jim Von Ehr said his company inteds to take ""all steps necessary to protect the integrity of...FreeHand"" and hopes for an amicable resolution.
Altsys would not explain why it need to sue to protect the product's integrity.
It referred questions to its public relations firm, Springbok Technologies Inc., where, after inviting questions on the matter, Altsys spokeswoman Melinda Conkling answered that she is ""not allowed to talk about it at all.""
"At this point, we are formulating a response to the suit,"" said Aldus investor relations manager John Snyder. He said ""the suit alleges that the proposed Aldus-Adobe merger breaches the license agreement"" that ""grants Aldus exclusive worldwide marketing rights to FreeHand.""
The issue, Snyder said, invovles the agreement's prohibition of marketing a competing product, which in this case would be Adobe's Illustrator program.
In its complaint, Snyder said, Altsys indicated that it wishes to be able to enter FreeHand licensing agreements with other companies.
"One of the key issues is that the merger is not yet complete,"" he said"" I don't expect it to affect the merger transaction either.""
In the meantime, Aldus will ""continue to market and support FreeHand as usual,"" said Snyder, adding that ""the lawsuit doesn't change what our plans are...""
Ten days after the complaint was filed, Aldus released the Power PC version of FreeHand.


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