Some weeks ago, I examined the ODA response to Autodesk's legal complaint. With Owen Wengerd posting all court documents, I can finally read Autodesk's paperwork. Some comments...
1. In press releases, Autodesk calls itself "...the world's leading 3D software company..."; in the court documents, "...one of the leading design software companies..." We saw a similar retreat when the FTC last decade investigated Autodesk for being a monoply. Before the investigation, it claimed 70% market share; with the FTC looking over its shoulder, Autodesk suddently became bashful, citing an under-10-percent market share.
7. Autodesk states it has registered AUTODESK as its trademark, but fails to point out that it has failed to obtain DWG as a registered trademark. Readers of upFront.eZine report that Autodesk is attempting to register DWG in Brazil and Australia.
9. Autodesk claims it has offered to licence its RealDWG program to competitors, but fails to list those competitors it refuses a license. One Autodesk vp told me that there are about five companies to whom it will not license DWG.
10. Autodesk reports its customers have problems with corrupted DWG files created by non-Autodesk software. Autodesk does not mention whether its own software ever corrupts DWG fies. We know it does, because:
* The Audit and Recover commands were added to Release 12 (June 1992), which was at least two years before any competitor was able to directly write DWG files (DXF was being used).
* Autodesk slips when it says "...customers have no way to know the source of the errors -- that is, whether they were introduced because the file was saved using a competitive product, or by their AutoCAD program...".
13. Autodesk notes that the TrustedDWG dialog box can be turned off by the user, they fail to note that (1) the two other warning indicators cannot be turned off; and (2) the both kinds of TrustedDWG messages interfere with scripts that run when AutoCAD starts up -- thus decreasing their own customer's productivity.
14. Incorrect concept: "...whether to import them [DWG files] into their computer networks." The files already reside on the computer networks; the question is whether to import them into the AutoCAD software.
18. Here Autodesk talks about AutoCAD being tricked and consumers being confused by the ODA implementing TrustedDWG. Autodesk fails to note that this applies only to AutoCAD 2007. Some 4 million other copies of AutoCAD do not react to TrustedDWG in the same way.
An issue that isn't addressed here is non-Autodesk companies who use its RealDWG to add "authorized" DWG read and write to their software. What if they implement the API poorly, creating corrupted drawings? It appears to me that Autodesk has not taken this into account.
20. Autodesk complains the ODA uses the TrustedDWG function without authorization from Autodesk. The judge will decide if authorization is needed.
21.Autodesk complains that the ODA infringes on the AUTODESK trademark. Anyone is free to use it, as long as they include the little (R) behind it.
22. Autodesk complains the ODA has profited from Autodesk's name and reputation. Expect to see Autodesk launch law suits against every third-party developer, book author, magazine publisher, multimedia company, et al. Autodesk has gotten very rich from the market momentum created by the third-party developers it encouraged.
23. Autodesk complains it is deprived of the value of its registered trademark.
24. Autodesk complains it has been injured by the ODA, and that there is no law in the land by which it can fight back.
44. Autodesk wants trial by jury.