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Oct 07, 2008



They don't own DWG any more than anyone else. They choose those letters because they are the abbreviation for dwg in the pre-existing standards. if anyone owns DWG, it's those standards, like the ASME and ISO. lol But even then, it's only a copyright, and long expired.

R. Paul Waddington

"They don't own DWG any more than anyone else." This statement is 100% correct FCSUPER.

It's time every CAD user wrote to SolidWorks's lawyers to support their use of DWG as part of their product names regardless of of which CAD software you use.

It is also time Autodesk's Carl Bass (he's a very approachable bloke, it has been said) received an equivalent number of emails from those same people; simply telling Autodesk's management to grow-up, pull in its horns and forget trying to own an abbreviation that has been in general use in our industry loooong before Autodesk existed and loooong before Autodesk used it as a convenient file extension and; to get on with doing something society can value and use in preference to salving egos and wasting money that can be used more sensibly.
If Autodesk can't handle somebody using the same combination of letters in the alphabet it should simply choose another set of letter and use those to denote its so called unique file structure. Autodesk didn't care, or think it important to use DWG for Inventor's drawing files they chose IDW, so maybe .ido (for id.o..) or .chm for ch...... m......... would give their marketing people something of a challenge to register and establish as a brand!
Don't sit on the side lines or your hands folks, make a noise, get writing in support of keeping DWG free from ownership and give Carl Bass my regards.

Gary Harding

Autodesk are concerned about the .dwg file type and not DWG as an abbreviation for Drawing. DWGgateway and DWGeditor are all about being able to read and edit the Autodesk native .dwg file format. If a company come out with DOCeditor I am sure Microsoft Word would have some concerns as people would think it is part of the Microsoft company. You can see how important DWG is to DWGgateway and DWGeditor as they are highlighted in capitals. This misleads the client in to thinking it has something to do with Autodesk who are the owner of the .dwg file format.

R. Paul Waddington

Gary's argument may be valid if we were in fact talking about consumers - walking the aisles of a supermarket - susceptible to tricks played on the eye with ingeniously deceptive packaging.

But we are not: we are dealing with a group of individuals who use CAD (software) for a particular purpose and as that same group is trained in using and recognizing shapes, colour and words as methods of description and record keeping I find it a little off-putting to think that they would be easily fooled into believing a software product they are looking at belongeth to somebody else.

Assuming for a moment they were 'fooled' into thinking DWGgateway had something to do with Autodesk, they would be right wouldn't they, after all it is software that runs inside AutoCAD. However, would they be foolish enough not to notice that they downloaded it from SolidWorks? Would they also be foolish enough to write a check out to Autodesk if they were to have to pay for DWGgateway? Or to contact Autodesk to get a fix or update? Would that person admit what they had done to their friends, are they the type of person who should be using CAD anyway? I venture to say if you answer yes to those questions Gary's right and I am wrong.

Alternatively if DWGgateway worked well, and cost nothing, Autodesk reap some of the benefits and many of Autodesk's customers took up using DWGgateway because it gave them a choice Autodesk did not. It can also be argued DWGgateway forced Autodesk to reconsider its earlier decision to drop supporting earlier drawing file formats and re-introduce some of these back into AutoCAD. DGWgateway did not 'hurt' Autodesk and the use of DWG with the word gateway never will!

This clear demonstration of market forces in action should be vigariously protected by we users: it serves no purpose to protect or make excuses for Autodesk and loose that valuable tool. Those that defend Autodesk's right to "own" DWG will be amongst those who live to see and regret what Autodesk WILL DO I they are afforded the opportunity!

There is no argument Autodesk "own" and drawing file format. Equally there is no argument they use .dwg as the file extension for files created using their format but that same data can also be found in .bak, .dwt and .sv$. Does seeing a .bak file confuse users into thinking its a file created by Microsoft Word?

Let's not loose site of the fact .dwg is a file extension that can be used by anybody for anything. DWG and dwg are well recognized abbreviations for the word 'drawing' and it was NOT Autodesk that thought of or first used this abbreviation and just because they may have used it as a files extension, for convenience, it does not mean they should automatically or believe they "own" .dwg, dwg or DWG.

The argument about confusion is valid, to a point, then it becomes stupid; eg. it was argued here, at one time, that a manufacture used a product name that confused their product with that of an existing product, with the same name, a vodka produced in Europe. The products the vodka manufacture and their lawyers claimed could mislead or confuse customers was women's swim wear!? Go figure!

The fight over DWG is a tussle for control via ownership NOT market confusion, that's a smoke screen! It is not about protecting a brand it is about one company wanting to gain excessive control over a file format we all rely on, with an eye to the future where greater control will be exerted over users access to their own data by continuing to morph the current format into file formats that are closed to all but.....

We may not like what people say but we should defend to the death their freedom to say it. Similarly Autodesk have a right to their file format and we all respect that but DWG as a string of letters belongs to the world and should remain so, hands off Autodesk!

Steve Johnson

The idea that clients are somehow going to mistakenly think that DWGgateway and DWGeditor are Autodesk products is not one I can take seriously. Why would anybody expect something that they don't get from Autodesk to be from Autodesk? That doesn't make sense.

If you go to the DWGgateway site, it says "Free AutoCAD(R) converter from Solidworks Corporation", which looks pretty clear to me. And the orange box thing? Really, somebody get these people something useful to do.

However, the title of the main DWGgateway page is "AutoCAD Free Download and ACAD Upgrade", which is at the very best a bit cheeky. Solidworks should know better, and I think Autodesk is perfectly entitled to complain about that, if nothing else.

Autodesk's lawyers may be a little short on convincing arguments, but they are at least doing a splendid publicity job for their client's competitors. Many people had never heard of these products until the legal action was launched, and probably never would have.

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