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Dec 19, 2007


Evan Yares

I've been trying to keep relatively quiet on this subject... But Autodesk is suing the Open Design Alliance, through the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, to cancel the ODA's trademarks on OpenDWG. You can read the full file at http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?qs=75429699

Even though this action is not a court of law, it is a legal proceeding, and the ODA will likely be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorneys to try and protect its trademarks.

Even while the trademark office is telling Autodesk they can't trademark DWG, Autodesk is claiming an exclusive right to use DWG in its action against the ODA.

The end result of this legal harassment, which Autodesk started in earnest a bit over a year ago, could be the bankruptcy of the ODA. And, possibly, this is Autodesk's intent.

Jimmy Bergmark

More can be found here about the situation here in Europe.


Arnold van der Weide, President, Open Design Alliance

The ODA and other organizations have trademarked product brands. If by example, any firm was granted the rights to DWG as a trademark, that would preclude other companies from using DWG as a substring in any “product brand.” To make such a move is indeed an aggressive tactic with ill-driven motivation and intent. Autodesk, Solidworks, the ODA, and others should be able to create and trademark unique product brand names that incorporate the DWG file type extension to better denote what the product is about.

The following are links to recent trademark cancellation requests made by Autodesk:

DWGEDITOR http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?qs=92046253

OPENDWG http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?qs=75429699

RASTERDWG http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?qs=92047083

With respect to Autodesk’s inability to receive trademarks, please note the rather recent filing dates as more the reason for any inability relative to their “competitors.” The ODA for clarification is not a competitor of Autodesk. Our mission is to enable the design eco-system to have interoperability between CAD applications that provide specialized features that no single CAD vendor could create on their own.

The ODA alliance is 3,000 members strong, including industry-recognized organizations listed at http://www.opendesign.com/membership/sustain.htm. We are very confident that bankruptcy is not in our future.

Kevin Quigley

Several years ago I was involved with a company that imported products from Turkey. Our company trademarked the Turkish brand name in the UK and USA as it turned out that the brand was not trademarked in either domain. We owned the trademark.

Trademark law is complex but the basic premise is that it is a first come first served principle whereby company A may have a brand but Company B can trademark that brand name if they use it and it is deemed a business advantage.

Autodesk were simply mistaken in that they should have trademarked DWG as a brand back in the 80s.

Attempting to resolve the situation now is not about protecting the DWG brand but trying to force the CAD industry to adopt official DWG formats - it is business pure and simple.

It is ironic then that in the same blog there is a feature on Adobe's growth. Funny that Adobe, who invented pdf have now opted to make it an open standard with an ISO classification. If only all companies in the CAD sector worked that way?

Duncan Lithgow

Hej there guys. I stumbled across this article and was pleased to add it to the text I help maintain at wikipedia. Many of you might be interested in the article which looks at the history and implementation of the DWG format. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.dwg

Please let me know if there is anything missing which should be in the article.

dlithgow (remove this text) at gmail (add a dot here) com

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