Doug Richard, chief executive of graphics software house Micrografx, today denied claims that it rushed into a copyright lawsuit against rival Corel without even attempting mediation.
Corel claims its opponent - which filed suit earlier this week for a temporary restraining order against Corel sales, over alleged copyright violations - made no attempt to settle the matter through discussion.
Corel representative Neera Panchmatia said she could not comment on the actual lawsuit but was "disappointed" at the lack of mediation.
?Our legal team are conducting an investigation into the allegations made by Micrografx and until that investigation is complete we are unable to comment," she said, but added: "The suit was deposed at the beginning of the week. I am not aware of any attempt at mediation before that. I am disappointed at that.?
Richard responded: ?That?s an interesting point of view. I approached them and their CEO was ?unable to successfully get back to me'. They postponed their earnings call because of bad weather. Maybe the bad weather froze his dialling finger.?
The suit, filed in the Federal District Court in Texas on Wednesday, calls for Corel to remove its graphics product suite, Print House Magic, from the market until certain features in the product are removed.
Micrografx claimed in a statement that Corel has ?misappropriated? features from its own American Greetings CreataCard software and "placed them into a recent release of Corel?s Print House Magic software.?
In the filing, Micrografx officials note that similarities between a number of the features are ?specific, deliberate and not coincidental".
One element in dispute is a calendar indicating global public holidays and festivals.
Richard said: ?Corel?s assistant general counsel said, ?a calendar?s just a calendar'. In reply to that, how come out of a possible six or seven thousand holidays round the world, we have 94 inside our programme and Corel have 93 out of our 94 - and it?s not just all the standards of the calendar like Christmas?"
He went on: "We both have Tomb Sweeping day. When you get to 25 examples which are the same, it?s clear that Corel have opened our product to see what?s inside. It?s a virtual replica of our model.?
Explaining why the decision to go to court was taken, Richard said: ?If a company takes advantage of our core intellectual property, I?m not sure what we have left. The question is, what choice do we have? If we don?t go it?s open season.?
He added: "It?s ironic that Corel are a member of the Software Publishers Association.?
A spokesperson for the SPA. the industry body concerned with protecting software copyright, said: ?Piracy is piracy and we?re against it, but we don?t get involved between companies. They need to do that for themselves. However we?re all in this together and where possible we recommend mediation.?
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