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October 5, 1999

Linotype Wins Copyright Action on Fonts

By CBR Staff Writer

Linotype Library, the owner of one of the world’s largest collection of typeface designs, has won an out-of-court settlement with Mattel Inc’s subsidiary Mindscape after accusing it of infringing Linotype copyright on three typefaces included in the home publishing software PrintMaster Publishing Suite 7.0. Mattel has agreed to pay Linotype an undisclosed sum in damages and legal costs and will remove the fonts from its software. It has also agreed to work with Linotype to identify any fonts across its product line that infringe Linotype’s copyrights and trade marks.

Linotype’s victory was achieved in the UK where typeface design is protected by law. In the US, copyright is not recognized in the design of typefaces and this has encouraged some operators to make copies or original designs, rename them and then license them to reputable publishers.

Linotype Library, a subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, is now planing to take legal action against other publishers and hopes that the importance of the UK market will persuade companies to recognize its copyright in their international operations. Bruno Steinert, general manager of Linotype Library, said that selling its products without a license takes royalties away from its designers and will eventually erode the foundations of the type design industry.

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