Symantec Corp. (SYMC), the world's biggest maker of security software, sued Philadelphia law firm Fox Rothschild for allegedly copying its Norton anti-virus products without a license.
Symantec, based in Cupertino, California, was joined in the suit by software makers Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE), Corel Corp. and Sonic Solutions Inc. They accuse the law firm of intentionally copying 19 software products made over the past six years.
Fox Rothschild's ``reproduction of the computer software products was deliberate, willful, malicious, oppressive, and without regard to plaintiffs' proprietary rights,'' the companies said in their copyright-infringement complaint filed Dec. 5 in federal court in San Francisco.
The four companies seek unspecified monetary damages and a court order barring Fox Rothschild from making copies of their software. They also asked the court to bar the law firm from deleting or destroying any existing copies.
Thomas Paradise, Fox Rothschild's general counsel, said the lawsuit followed fruitless talks between the firm's outside lawyers and the software companies' attorneys.
``We're taking the lawsuit very seriously,'' Paradise said today in a phone interview. ``We're scrupulous in our compliance with intellectual property law.''
San Jose, California-based Adobe, the world's biggest maker of design software, claims its Acrobat product was infringed by Fox Rothschild. Corel, based in Ottawa, Canada, and Sonic, based in Novato, California, claim their WinZip file-archiving product and Roxio video-disc creation product were infringed.
Fox Rothschild, with about 417 lawyers, has 14 U.S. offices, according to its Web site.
The software companies directed calls for comment to the trade group Software & Information Industry Association, which didn't immediately return a message.
The case is Adobe Systems Inc. v. Fox Rothschild LLP, 3:07-cv-06161, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).