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Why doesn't Adobe go after counterfeit products on Google?

New Here ,
May 17, 2023 May 17, 2023

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When searching through Google for terms like "Adobe Acrobat" or "Adobe Pro" there are a number of obvious counterfeit products for sale - usually at unreasonably low prices like $19. 

 

There are also advertisers who promote fake discounts aggressively. In the case shown below, the "discount" is simply renewed every 15 days, and is no different from the standard price. This is advertising fraud. 

 

Both of these acts are illegal. Selling counterfeit software is obviously illegal, while a fake discount is an unfair business practice - the Lanham Act gives Adobe the right to the profits from this illegal activity.

 

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Community Expert ,
May 17, 2023 May 17, 2023

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Hi @Fred29934053c91l, I'm not from Adobe but I am a former Adobe reseller.

 

First, some of the items shown in the Google screen capture are not Adobe products. The PDF file format became opensource in 2008 and now any company can create PDF tools. So www.pdfpro.com and PDF Editor can sell their products at whatever price they want. And their products are legitimate.

 

The items with the trademarks "Adobe" and Acrobat" on them are branded as Adobe products and these could be fraudulent, stolen, or grey-market software. Or maybe some nitwitt who thinks he can sell his old unused license to someone else.

 

We used to work with Adobe's lawyers on legal issues like this and I learned that it's nearly impossible to crack these sellers. Most operate internationally, so US laws can't be enforced, although there has been improvement on this with international laws. But still, there's always some country willing to front (and protect) these theives.

 

And Google doesn't appear to help much, either.

 

Unfortunately, consumers who are suckered into buying this crud find out too late that it won't run on their computer, can't be registered, lacks valid product keys and serial numbers, or any of a half dozen more scenarios. And they're out of the money, too. They might be able to reverse the charge through their credit card company or PayPal, but not always.

 

It boils down to caveat emptor (buyer beware).

 

|    Bevi Chagnon   |  Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
|    Classes & Books for Accessible InDesign, PDFs & MS Office |

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New Here ,
May 18, 2023 May 18, 2023

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Hi Bevi,

 

Thanks for the response. Understood on the fradulent trademarks. 

 

False advertising is illegal and can be enforced globally - look up the Lanham Act provisions. So a "perpetual discount" (whereby the product is continuously advertised as "on sale") is an unfair business practice and can be pursued by Adobe. Of course, the PDF itself is open-source and can be sold by anyone. However, there are laws against false advertising in every industry.

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New Here ,
Nov 10, 2023 Nov 10, 2023

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The name of the company appears to be PDF Pro Software Inc., based in Vancouver and PDF Pro Limited, based in Hong Kong. 

 

The owner of the Canadian company is an individual by the name of Edmon Moren, while the Hong Kong-based sole director is an individual by the name of Alexander Guy Facey, a lawyer from Facey & Associates. 

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New Here ,
May 26, 2023 May 26, 2023

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Protecting intellectual property and combating counterfeit products is a complex and ongoing challenge for many companies, including Adobe. While it is not possible to comment on Adobe's specific actions or strategies, it's worth noting that addressing counterfeit products involves various factors and considerations, including legal processes, resource allocation, and collaboration with other entities.

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