Adobe Sue Apple? Who Would Ultimately Win?

buding-icon A blogger writes for ITWorld ( part of the IDG Network ) cited unnamed sources to claim that Adobe has plans in place to sue Apple over its decision to block the use of Flash Professional to create iPhone apps. Adobe’s not talking about such actions, so not clear it’s a real news or not, and what exactly Adobe would be suing Apple over, probably it’s only Adobe wanted to test what would happen. However, from the recent details of conflict between Apple and Adobe, that would be a possibility. So, if Adobe sue Apple, who would ultimately win?

In fact, it is hard for Adobe how to claim any legal right to demand that Apple support its monopoly position in desktop dynamic web content playback. I don’t think Adobe can get any benefits if they sue Apple Changed the App Store policy change (IT World reports that the App Store policy change was the “last straw” for Adobe), and I can’t see how Adobe could win. It’s Apple’s product, it’s Apple’s store, It’s Apple’s SDK! 

Adobe Sue Apple

But if Adobe can sue that Apple is a monopoly in some form like Apple holds a monopoly in the mobile app market. Apple is the only iPhone hardware maker, the only source for iPhone software and the only source to develop for the iPhone, whatever.  it will be a pretty easy win.

Although with the release of iPhone OS 4 beta, Apple altered section 3.3.1 of the developer agreement, banning the use of intermediate computability layers and alternative languages in the App Store, the new agreement effectively renders the Flash-to-iPhone compiler in CS5 useless, something that Adobe has largely touted before the OS 4 announcement.  But,

“We are aware of the new SDK language and are looking into it,”

said Adobe spokesperson Wiebke Lips.

“We continue to develop our Packager for iPhone OS technology, which we plan to debut in Flash CS5.”

Adobe released Flash CS5 on April 12.

That’s GOOD! Even only a stance!

Yes, because I don’t think Adobe sue Apple can resolve anything, Adobe should, attempt to improve Flash further and  faster than Apple takes the iPhone, make it killer on the backs of Android and other platform.


See Also

Adobe vs. Apple is going to get uglier

Usually I write about security here, but Apple’s iron-bound determination to keep Adobe Flash out of any iWhatever device is about to blow up in Apple’s face. Sources close to Adobe tell me that Adobe will be suing Apple within a few weeks…

Blogger insists Adobe will sue Apple over CS4 iPhone app tools

It’s not clear what exactly Adobe would be suing Apple over. Apple has apparently never contracted in bad faith with Adobe to co-deliver Flash on the iPhone, nor did the company approve or endorse or in any way guarantee that Adobe’s efforts to skirt the existing restrictions in the iPhone SDK would result in commercial success.

Regarding rumors of Adobe preparing to sue Apple

If ever Apple gains a true monopoly position in mobile and abuses that monopoly, then cases will no doubt be made (remember, you can have a monopoly, and you can be abusive, you just can’t be an abusive monopoly). Until that time, we get the feeling Apple is going to do everything they can to leverage their technology to get as far ahead of the mobile platform competition as they can. They’re going to go at a dead sprint, in fact, until they reach that very line. They want to be so far ahead by the time they have to worry about anti-trust and may be forced to switch gears, competitors will be too far behind to catch up.

Adobe preparing to sue Apple over Flash blocking?

With the iPhone it was a case of Flash being too slow and buggy. With the iPad the same case was pleaded, but Apple went one step further and updated the iPhone 4.0 SDK license agreement to block cross-platform compilers. In doing so, Apple rendered one of the new features of Adobe’s just released Creative Studio 5 completely useless. That feature is the ability to compile out a Flash project as an iPhone app.

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13 Responses to “Adobe Sue Apple? Who Would Ultimately Win?”

  1. Rajdeep Rath says:

    “But if Apple can sue that Apple is a monopoly in some form like Apple holds a monopoly in the mobile app market. ”

    buddy where is adobe gone ? :)

  2. Andrew Molloy says:

    ” and I can’t see how Adobe could win. It’s Apple’s product, it’s Apple’s store, It’s Apple’s SDK! ”

    Well then you should have a look at the EU ruling with regards to the Browser choice screen implemented in MS Windows. If there can’t be a legal challenge in the US there almost certainly can be (and with precedent) in the EU.

  3. aristophrenia says:

    The solution is simple – if Apple blocks flash made apps for no other reason – then suing is completely feasible – imagine if Dell blocked certain content on the internet simply due to what product it was coded in – dream weaver or bbedit. One can simply sue based on freedom of speech, expression and censorship – and that is EXACTLY where Adobe should put there money – sponsor independent developers financially to sue Apple – instead of suing them directly.

    There is no way that Apple would be able to defend censorship based purely on the medium of creation – no way – and lets face it – in America where this is enshrined in the bill of rights – it will become very public, very one dimensional and Adobe will win. So they should.

    • Mark says:


      I think I know your point.
      But, the fact is Apple’s iPhone OS only run on Apple’s iPhone or iPad. If Dell developed a hardware name “Dell”, and an OS name “Dell OS”, “Dell” can NOT run Windows OS and Linux and others, only “Dell OS” can be run on it. But Adobe Flash can NOT run on “Dell OS”, then, do you think Adobe can sue Dell?


      • Matthew Fabb says:

        Any lawsuit wouldn’t be about getting the Flash Player on the iPhone, Apple can do that if they want, as they could always claim battery issues (no matter how good Flash is about battery consumption). It’s about restricting what tools allowed to be used in creating iPhone apps, when the end result that is submitted to Apple is exactly the same (a native iPhone app).

  4. James T. says:

    Apple will win. If Adobe pursues this meritless case, they will find themselves the laughingstock of the industry. It’s like Burger King suing McDonald’s for not selling Whoppers. What a joke!


    • Andrew Molloy says:

      You’ve obviously never seen a modern flash/flex interactive app either that or don’t understand exactly what HTML5 is capable of. HTML5 will take some of the burden from Flash such as possibly playing some video but it’s certainly not capable of replacing it even with full implementation.

  5. Matthew Fabb says:

    Hank Williams blogged a while back that he thinks Apple’s new SDK license is a clear example of “resistant of trade” in US contract law:

    From what I understand is that while Apple can reject any app they want based on quality or any standard they want, but they can’t restrict what tools people use if the end result (an iPhone app) is the exact same and has to be inspected at the byte code level to tell an Objective-C app apart from a Flash CS5 based app.

    However, it seems no one is aware of another tech company ever having rules this restricting, so the lawsuit will be the first of its kind setting precedent. Lot of other platforms have strict rules, with very specific SDKs, but the tools you are allowed to use are wide open, as the platform owners generally want as much content as possible on their platform.

    Also since a lot of companies and other tools outside of Adobe are affected by this new licensing agreement, I wonder if other companies will join in the lawsuit, or if they will they let Adobe battle it out as they sit by in order not to piss off Apple any more than they have.

  6. Brendan says:

    James I would join the html 5 revolution is there was one.

  7. aristophrenia says:

    Again – the wording of the agreement makes it clear that it is rejecting work NOT because there is a technical, moral or tangible problem with it, but simply because it does not conform to their desires – it is clearly an attempt market monopolization and censorship – there is no justifiable technical or otherwise reason for the position.

    @Mark – the comparison is valid – Apple products run on an amalgamation of technologies- just like DEll – including intel chips (yes PC !!) Even the underlying operating system on Apple is not Apple – at the end of the day Apple is an interface sitting on other peoples hard work and clever marketing – it relies almost entirely on peoples need to empower themselves through consumption – it is the saddest product on the market.

    Apple fan boys are almost always people with sad upbringings, rejected at school, misfits and outcasts who find solace in solitary pursuits, introverted technological past times, are unable to form meaningful relationships and find empowerment through product purchases and competitive consumer behaviour – they are the saddest victims of marketing I have ever witnessed and truly feel a deep sadness for their pathetic lives. Who cares who made your computer??

    In a world being destroyed by consumerism, a world where the environment is being utterly decimated bu peoples dis-empowered, meaningless lives where the void of relevance and the disenfranchised is corrected with mindless consumerism – globe destroying consumption – where Africa is being torn apart for rare earth metals to fulfill this personal one up-man ship in gadgets – Apple stands head and shoulders in this revolting lust to prey upon modern mans vulnerabilities –

    Wake up people – its a fracken computer – thats it. It doesn’t make you better, it will not improve your life, in fact it will sink you further into the consumer abyss of mindless passive absorption of marketers nefarious message in their endless lustful need to sell you more and more crap based on your personal deficiencies – sad.

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