Adobe Copyright Suit Over ColdFusion

On May 4, Adobe, Inc. filed a complaint against Silk Road Technology, Inc. (Silk Road), alleging that the company breached a software license agreement and infringed on its copyrights relating to an Adobe product called ColdFusion. This case is being held in the Northern District of California before Magistrate Judge Donna M. Riu.

ColdFusion is an Adobe-owned website building software, whose licensees must use the product only for internal use within a company. As summarized by the complaint, “ColdFusion licensees use the product to create websites internal to their companies where their employees can submit expense reports or track inventory.” Unless a custom hosting license is created, the use of ColdFusion by and for third parties is prohibited. Against Adobe’s guidance, Silk Road refused to purchase a custom license agreement.

Adobe alleged Silk Road purchased version 10 of ColdFusion in October 2012 and accepted a license agreement, which it subsequently broke. The agreement stated that Silk Road would not use ColdFusion “‘on behalf of third parties’ or ‘use the software in a computer service business’ or as ‘part of a hosted service.’” According to the complaint, Silk Road broke all of these promises by offering “third parties a recruiting and human resources software called OpenHire that was built on ColdFusion and runs on ColdFusion code.”

Founded in 2003, Silk Road is a strategic onboarding company offering custom human resources software to its clients, which include Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., Avid Solutions, and International Dairy Queen. As a result of the company’s alleged infringement, Adobe seeks an award of actual damages.