Wowza Media Server has been a thorn in Adobe’s side for quite some time now, directly competing with Flash Media Server, undercutting them in price, continually staying one step ahead in customer service and specialized features.
It seems Adobe’s legal department has decided enough is enough.
Wowza Media Systems released a statement today that brought to light a lawsuit filed last week against them by Adobe Systems. From Wowza’s official press release:
The Adobe lawsuit alleges certain patent infringement and unfair competition complaints regarding Wowza’s business practices.
“Adobe’s lawsuit against our company is completely without merit, and we look forward to resolving this matter in court,” said David Stubenvoll, CEO and co-founder, Wowza Media Systems. “Wowza’s position is that it does not infringe on Adobe patents and that we have engaged only in skillful and fair competition with Adobe. For the implementation in question, we disclosed our activities to Adobe more than five years ago and continued to be open and up front with Adobe regarding our activities. It is only after five years of Wowza growth, independent technology innovation, and market leadership that Adobe unexpectedly filed this unfounded and spurious lawsuit.”
Stubenvoll continued, “Wowza has always had a policy of timely, accurate communications with all current and prospective licensees, and so we have made the decision to communicate this matter swiftly. This action is not anticipated to interrupt our current product offering or future product plans. We will continue to innovate and provide the market with the best technology at reasonable prices while we respond in court to these unfounded allegations. We remain confident in our intellectual property position and welcome the opportunity to settle this matter definitively.”
I have always thought that Adobe needed to address the “Wowza Problem” in some way, by either suing them or acquiring them. After so many years of quietly ignoring them I thought they may be leaning toward the latter. Apparently that’s not going to happen. Why Adobe decided to file now isn’t clear. Of course I’ll be following this issue very closely, along with most Wowza Media clients.
UPDATE: Stefan of Flashcomguru.com shares my surprise (and dismay) at this development. Hopefully we can get a look at the complaint and see what may have prompted it.