Adobe has taken to the US and UK courts to resolve a contractual dispute that threatens to prevent Acrobat users embedding certain fonts in PDF documents.

The company is asking the courts for declatory relief to resolve its dispute with the ITC (International Typeface Corporation) in the US and Agfa Monotype in the UK. The company has failed to resolve these disputes informally.

"Many years ago Adobe anticipated the shift to electronic documents. At that time, we obtained the necessary embedding rights from our font partners to permit the creation of electronic documents," said Jim Heeger, senior vice president, cross-media products.

"We are now defending the rights we obtained for our customers to continue to conduct business in the electronic age."

Adobe has asked the US court to declare that Adobe Acrobat does not violate certain provisions of the contentious Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as claimed by ITC and Agfa Monotype.

Adobe believes the claims are being made to add leverage to the font companies dispute with Adobe.

Referring indirectly to Adobe Acrobat and PDF Writer, Agfa Monotype counterclaims: "We have become aware of the distribution of a program that has only one function, that is, to alter the embedding bits on a TrueType font to make the font fully embeddable."

Agfa Monotype acquired ITC in March 2000.