Professional Land Surveyor News: Autodesk and Open Design Alliance Reach Agreement for Autodesk DWG Trademarks

Professional Land Surveyor News

Professional Land Surveyor News

Professional Land Surveyor News: Autodesk and Open Design Alliance Reach Agreement for Autodesk DWG Trademarks

On Friday, April 9, 2010, Autodesk and the Open Design Alliance (ODA) made an announcement to settle their pending Autodesk DWG Trademark disputes. Autodesk had started proceedings to cancel the ODA’s DWG-based trademark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) in 2007. Autodesk claimed that this was to avoid confusion with Autodesk’s established DWG brand and trademark.

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., as I'm sure many of you are aware, is a world leader in 2D design, 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software. Autodesk introduced AutoCAD software in 1982 as a pioneer in the world of computer-aided design (CAD) with their DWG proprietary file format and technology. Autodesk allows others to use the .dwg file extension to make compatible software to the Autodesk DWG file format, but does not allow some uses of DWG as a trademark.

About ODA

The Open Design Alliance is a non-profit consortium of over 2,000 software developers and users in 40 countries committed to promoting open, industry-standard formats for the exchange of CAD data and CAD legacy data. Using their software development platform, called Teigha™, which supports the use of both .dwg and .dgn files, software developers can create graphics applications, including full-scale CAD systems. Additionally, the ODA maintains and publishes the Open Design Specification for .dwg files.

What Was Resolved?

Terms and conditions of the settlement agreement are confidential, but in a joint Autodesk and ODA press release on Friday, the following was published:

  • The ODA has agreed to cancel its DWG-based trademark registrations and cease use of DWG and DWG-based trademarks in its product marketing and branding.
  • Autodesk has agreed to withdraw the cancellation proceedings with the TTAB.
  • The settlement does not preclude ODA from developing interoperable software or from using the .dwg extension in its file names.

Amar Hanspal, Senior Vice President, Autodesk Platform Solutions and Emerging Businesses said:

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with the ODA so we can move beyond our DWG trademark disputes,” said Amar Hanspal, Senior Vice President, Autodesk Platform Solutions and Emerging Businesses. “This settlement is reflective of both parties’ continuing focus on interoperability for 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software users.”
Professional Land Surveyor Source - Autodesk/ODA

Arnold van der Weide, President of the ODA stated:

“The ODA is pleased that we are able to reach this settlement with Autodesk and turn our focus from the legal arena to the development of our TEIGHA software development platform which, among other things, is designed to work with Autodesk’s DWG file format.”
Professional Land Surveyor Source - Autodesk/ODA

Publicly, Autodesk says it "does not prevent others from either using .dwg as a file extension or from making software that is compatible with the Autodesk DWG file format", but considers "certain uses of DWG as a trademark" and therefore under those conditions uses "are not permissible". Therefore, this trademark settlement between Autodesk and ODA claims to focus "on avoiding customer confusion by non-Autodesk products’ use of DWG as a trademark without prior permission from Autodesk."

Professional Land Surveyor Source

Eric D. Colburn, PLS, "The Geo-Business Innovator", helps geo-professionals improve through innovative solutions, mastery of marketing and business growth strategies, and coaching/training. Eric is a successful, serial entrepreneur, podcaster, industry writer, product development consultant, and RI licensed professional land surveyor.

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