Microsoft faces copyright lawsuit for using Hebrew type fonts without permission

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Microsoft is apparently facing a lawsuit for using two particular Hebrew type fonts in its Office productivity suite without permission. The fonts in question are Guttman Hodes and Monotype Hadassah.

Henry Friedlander was hiding from the Nazis around 70 years ago were he designed and perfected the Hebrew type font called “Hadassah”. His daughter, Hannah, claims that Microsoft is using and advertising the font to millions of users without her permission. 

Microsoft responded to her claims stating that her father transferred his rights to the font over to a foundry in the Netherlands in 1950. That foundry then provided licenses to other parties to use the font and eventually transferred the rights to the font to Microsoft. Microsoft denies that Hannah owns any rights to the original font.

Microsoft states, “Friedlander never made any claims during his life about the widespread use of the Hadassah font. On the contrary, he expressed satisfaction that the font was so widely spread by the Dutch printing house.”

Microsoft also adds that the company began uses the font in digital versions back in 1993 in a version called Guttman Hodes. Microsoft also states that the statute of limitations applies to the lawsuit and that filing the lawsuit now is flagrant and in bad faith.

“Hadassah is a special, precious, and festive font, an original work of art, praised by experts as groundbreaking in terms of design and style. The Hadassah font is based on extensive historical research into the shapes and development of Hebrew letters,” Hannah claimed in her lawsuit.

Hannah states that Microsoft never received permission to use the font, nor were they allowed to adopt it into two different fonts called Guttman Hodes, and Monotype Hadassah. She adds that these two fonts are a falsification of the original font and distort her fathers work. 

This report comes from an Israeli news site called Haaretz. The font in question is pictured below.

Hadassah font