Macromedia is preparing its defences against any possible "unsolicited" takeover attempt.

The company's board has adopted a stockholder rights plan. This is designed to protect the long-term value of the company from any "future unsolicited attempt" to acquire the company.

The company says: "Adoption of the plan was not made in response to any specific attempt to acquire Macromedia or its shares, and Macromedia is not aware of any current efforts to do so."

Cut-price shares The board has declared a dividend of one share purchase right for each share of its stock outstanding on October 29. These rights may only be exercised if certain circumstances occur. Such circumstances include the acquisition of 20 per cent of the company's outstanding stock by a person or group. If this occurs, holders of the dividend (other than the individual or group in possession of 20 per cent of the company's shares) may acquire the dividend shares at a 50 per cent discount on the market price of such shares at the time.

In another note, MacCentral reports that Adobe has responded to Macromedia's suit filed in the US courts and announced earlier this week. Macromedia has filed against Adobe, claiming ownership of patents for technologies employed in Photoshop and GoLive. These patents were acquired by Macromedia from NetObjects in late summer. Adobe has announced that it believes the claims have "no merit", and will "vigorously" defend against the suit.

Adobe says that if the courts find in favour of Macromedia, then Adobe will either have to make an arrangement with that company for use of the patents described, or change the applications so they no longer use the technologies described by the patent.