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Sep 23, 2008



I don't see any problems with SW's DWG tools and naming. After all, don't they deal with DWG files? And isn't more interoperability good?

OTOH, Autodesk trying to trademark DWG is going overboard.

Kevin Quigley

The only group that benefits from this nonsense are the lawyers. Frankly, who cares about this stuff anymore. I wish the Solidworks marketing machine would move on and assign dwg to the scrapheap, where it belongs.

Bankrupt Banker

DWG is not, and will never be an Autodesk- registered trademark. They can't wait 25 years and then wake up one day and decide that, after knowing and watching their competitors using DWG in their own marks for many ears, say they can no longer do that.

The idea that they can achieve anything except causing Dassault to expend legal expenses is not just unrealistic, it is a petty, childish, naiev and incredibly stupid waste of revenues.


They might have colored square orange since that is the color that SolidWorks primarily uses for its website and image. They have for several years now, although they have recently gotten away from the predominantly orange color scheme on their site. This goes back to around the 2004 version (my 2003 disks are blue).

As for the square…..just looks like a typical design. They might have tried to use to lure away or confuse AutoCAD customers but who knows. If you look at the Autodesk site, they use different color rectangles for different products (blue, red, orange, white, purple). Might Autodesk have chosen the color orange for Inventor to lure potential SolidWorks customers? Who had the color first? It does seem too much of coincident.

The "Real" thing does seem like a take from Autodesk (RealDWG). Their use for the word is different however….."Real Solutions"…"Real Performance" so I don't see how any claim Autodesk is making will hold up.

Jason Raak

Reading all of this makes me think that Autodesk is REALLY starting to sweat. Are they feeling what they have left of 3D users slipping away to the hands of SolidWorks. I think it is funny how they threw the book at SolidWorks and are probably hoping for at least 1 to hold up.

Can you say DESPERATION? Maybe they need to focus on making their product better and less on worrying about who is using their boxes, colors and extensions.

Not Really important

Interesting that when I first say the 'square' I thought of HR Block more than Autodesk....

Jeff Cope

To be clear, it is not the SolidWorks site that uses DWG 26 times but the DWGNavigator.com website. Since the whole purpose of the DWGNavigator is to read and print DWG files, it makes perfectly good sense that DWG has a higher usage density than SolidWorks terms.

About your notion of why can't SolidWorks find their own fresh customers well that is just silly. Anyone in industry who is older than 22 knows that Autocad has been around 26 years and that every company has at least some Autocad files. There was a time when they were the only reasonable choice for desktop engineering software.

It will be interesting to see how this one turns out.


I find it very odd that Autodesk would pursue these matters since Inventor is a copycat of SolidWorks. Inventor does not even remotely resemble any of Autodesk's previous solid modeling packages. At least their "me too" mentality has forced SolidWorks to continue to develop their product line.

Jack Squatt

My bad. I thought I would be reading an unbiased news article. Unfortunately, it's just another "slam Autodesk" because they are the Big Dog line of crap!


Just a slight correction. The Inventor is platformed on DWG True connect and there fore has a native intergration with any DWG file. No More translators! True Interoperobility. Pardon any misspelling. Thanx


To me this indicates a new turn in Autodesk's strategy to get DWG trademarked. Now, it would seem, that if they can't get it trademarked, they are darn sure going to make sure no one else can use it. By them going after Solidworks and forcing them to use up a lot of legal budget, means that other smaller companies will think very carefully before using DWG anywhere - and so this is a strategy that might just work!

Does this whole effort make Autodesk look like a petulant child? Yes. But apparently in this case, Autodesk isn't too worried about perceptions of the common folk.


It's funny to see the extent which ADESK goes to "fight" SolidWorks in court over silly things like a long overdue DWG trademark attempt and an orange rectangle(?) Boy, imagine Ferrari suing Porsche for using a black horse and some yellow background in its emblem.

They should honestly fire their obviously under-worked lawyers and direct their efforts in addressing the reasons behind their customers's defecting over to Solid-x than this.... :P

R. Paul Waddington

I'm not so sure it's a "new turn" in Autodesk's strategy. There are two main reason for a company to go to this level of trouble to 'own' a common language word. Market place control is what most focus on but it is the ability - of the owner - to transform and or destroy the format that should be of most concern. The latter has been 'Autodesk's strategy' for a loooong time; it is as plain as the nose on our faces!

Petulant and arrogant, but it is not Autodesk that is either: Autodesk cannot be either of these, it is nothing more than ink on a page. It is humans, not ink and paper that make decisions and control direction and 'company actions', legal or otherwise.

Also it is other peoples money those 'humans' are using not their own and it is to those people and, in particular, Autodesk's customers who should take control and start exerting the pressure required to bring about the changes in Autodesk we all want to see.

We all express our views in venues such as this but it is about time ALL those views were expressed and directed directly, and forthrightly, at Autodesk's management and board. WRITE YOUR LETTERS DIRECTLY TO BARTZ AND BASS and do it in the thousands; let them know what you expect from them, personally and collectivly. They can ignore this page, other blogs and editorials but they can never ignore direct, critical or constructive criticisms, complaint and suggestions.

If 'misleading' stones are being thrown those in glass houses should be very careful.

Look at Ralph's seven original points, Autodesk. Talk about "The pot is calling the kettle black": 'same day productivity using Inventor' crap! Documents that state Mechanical functions will give 7800% productivity improvement - crap! And Terms and Conditions that state they are contracts when clearly they are not!!

Letting the 'Autodesk' humans know, directly, what they can and cannot do has made it possible for me to be, maybe, the only person using Autodesk software - 'legally' - whilst rejecting their entire terms and conditions. So why should this same technique not work in a broader sense for the collective known as 'Autodesk' customers.

Come on guys, stand up and be counted, start working as a collective; take all your comments, grievances and suggestions and send them directly to Bartz, Bass and your dealer principals simultaneously. Done in sufficient quantity, repeatedly and in a sustained way, 'Autodesk' will become a better company for ALL. One more willing to work for those that enabled its creation, sustained it, and those who are Autodesk's future, instead of one involved in the rubbish we see in this latest action and that involving Vernon.


No wonder software costs so much these days!

The first company that focuses on service instead of using 'bells and whistles' to sell their product will have a long term future and profits for itself and it's share holders. It might take a while but it would be worth it in the long term, that may be asking a bit much when CEO's change places every other year though.

For an example,look at IBM now compared to the earlier years, I know that's another story, just trying to make a point.
The bottom line is that dwg may well be the defacto standard, why can't autodesk just handle that and get on with producing good reliable software to produce it instead of dishing out buggy bloatware every year in attempt to improve sales?

Don't get me wrong, it's a very good product and from a development point of view probably one of the best but seriously, it's like paying $45.00 for a big mac with 'extra' special sauce, it's a joke!

Limey Frog

I see that more than a few of you drank the Dassault, Kool Aid. Many of you have it backwards, SolidWorks is losing market share, Inventor has surpassed the former ‘Market Leader’.

It's not opinion, it is fact. Look at the financials, Dassault and Autodesk are publicly traded companies. Autodesk’s growth is fueled by it's 3D solutions(no questions ACAD is still a very important component)

If SWX is cleaning up, why are their profits slipping? Why has Inventor surpassed SWX in annual seat sales? Why are their rumors swirling that SWX will be dropped and CATIA will be Dassaults solution of choice(and yes, in the mid-level market)? If Inventor/DWG/ACAD is such a poor solution, why would SWX mimic their advertising?

This part is based on my experience and opinions……As a long time SWX user, I saw a steady decline in the way they treated their customer base. They were first to market and ACAD MDT, was quite simply put, garbage and never a threat to SolidWorks dominance. Quite frankly, I think SolidEdge was a better package than SWX from the beginning.

With each passing year, I felt I received less and less value for my annual subscription. When Inventor was released, it was an inferior product, but Autodesk continued to develop and acquire new technology. 4 to 5 years ago, they were on par technically. Since then, they have continued to purchase and develop and in my opinion, provide more value to their customers.

As for those of you that drank the Kool Aid, pull your heads out of your (fill in the blank) and look around. It’s not a one horse race anymore. There are alternatives and it’s up to you to evaluate them based on what works best for your company. A closed mind leads to stagnation and curbs growth.

Lucy B.

"this madness...
no! This is sparta!"

c'mon autodesk...
focus in prove you have better software.

Frank Rizzo

Keycreator is better than all this I don't know why either of these guys are on top.

John Burrill

Oh my god, the infamy. Solidworks used an Orange Box. Gee, Valve has a game bundle of their Half Life Two series that they call 'Orange Box' The only reason they could have for using an Orange Box is to confuse and misrepresent their relationship to Autodesk through AutoCAD.
OK, let's have some frickin' perspective here. First of all this is a comparison of apple boxes to orange boxes.
First: the Orange box only appears on the Inventor packaging, which has nothing to do with these claims. By contrast, the Solidworks orange box appears on their website as part of a marketing gimic that features the word 'real' (I'll get to that in a second) The AutoCAD 2009 box art has a red box. 3ds Max has a white box and Revit Archtiecture has a purple box. The Autodesk RealDWG marketing brochure doesn't even feature a box. Is it actually Autodesk's contention that the orange frame around Autodesk Inventor is such a novel and unique idea that Solidworks intention to put the word 'real' inside of it can only be done for the purpose of usurping that earth shattering idea? Here's another thought: the word real appears in an orange box to emphasize the improvements in the 2009 product line. That marketing strategy and the inventor packaging have no further similarities. The inventor orange frame is actually yellow-orange, whereas Solidworks gravitates towards the richer orange that has been used in it's product logo going back to 2005 at least. You can say this about Solidworks, they get more Orange every year. Witnesseth the installation wizard for 2009. Furthermore, the Inventor frame contains the words Autodesk Inventor in the upper lefthand corner. Solidworks contains the word 'real' in the lower right hand corner. Autodesk Inventor is in Title Case. 'real' is in lower case. The font looks about the same, but I'll argue that Solidworks has employed it in the product labeling longer. Autodesk continously switches cases, fonts and product names. Quite frankly, nothing about Solidworks use of an orange frame screams 'endorsed by AutoCAD' Finaly, on the subject of the frickin' orange box, Solidworks primary marketing efforts are based on selling Solidworks. They give away or include in the price everything that enables AutoCAD compatibility. They're marketing message is 'why upgrade AutoCAD when you can edit any version of a DWG file with our software' (which I disagree with, considering the features Autodesk has added to AutoCAD), not 'we'll give you AutoCAD for free.' The purpose of this campaign is to provide incentive for companies that want Solidworks but still have to maintain released documents in dwg format. 80 percent of companies that have Solidworks also have AutoCAD and no one who is proficient with AutoCAD will confuse it for DWGeditor. Even if the frame and typeface are similar, the DWGeditor drawing file icons feature the red cube, clearly indicating that they're launched with a Solidworks originating application.
OK, now let's talk about 'real'. Oooooh, it's so innovative to put the work real in front of something. Damn it, have any of you seen the Dairy Councils 'Real' logo? It appeared on all of those 'got milk?' commericals. So if anyone should be incensed at Solidworks use of the term, it's them. Contrary to Autodesk's statement, I can't see the use of the word 'real' causing a single loss of an AutoCAD sale attributable to confusion over Solidworks level of participation in the RealDWG add. And again, note the difference in case: RealDWG - real. Look, people who are making their first trip to the Solidworks homepage probably aren't developers trying to decide whether to license RealDWG for their own competing technologies.
And finaly, Autodesk's position on this is hardly defensible. First: their file extension, DWG isn't trademarked, didn't originate with them and is only used on one product: DWG True View: that slow, sulking bohemoth that takes 150Mb to do what Edrawings can do in twelve. Autodesk has no problems labeling their included PDF driver as such, despite the fact that they don't license it from Adobe. They have no problems writing their own versions of Excel documents and Access databases without giving nodds to Microsoft (who has an orange box around a clock in the Outlook program icon.
And finaly, Autodesk is making too much huff over their ability to write a good DWG file. True, it's difficult to make a file exported from Solidworks functionally identical to one created in AutoCAD natively (with respect to dimensions and annotations in particular). It's also true that the export doesn't support some native AutoCAD entties like tables, gradient fills or annotative objects. But we're talking about file stability and integrity and I can't recall any cases where a DWG exported from Solidworks couldn't be opened or edited in AutoCAD. I do however know of several cases of files that had been saved down from AutoCAD 2006 that crashed AutoCAD 2000 and the only way to recover them was to open and resave them in DWGEditor. Put another way, Autodesk has plenty of trouble in it's own history of writing usuable DWG files.
Autodesk should be putting it's resources into improving it's products in order to secure it's market share instaed of trying to nitpick it's competitors marketing materials.

Ken Elliott

I've not had any problem moving files between Rhino, DWG Editor, Microstation and others. This would seem to indicate that these products produce "standard" DWG files. AutoCAD seems to have issues at times, and is actually the odd one. Considering the problems I've had transferring DWG files between Autodesk products, I don't see that they have a case.

Long ago, AutoCAD set the standard for what DWG is. But today it appears that it is a bit fuzzier. Products that are based on OpenDWG can easily exchange files, while Autodesk seems to have issues exchanging DWG with their own products. This should make for an interesting show in the courtroom.

Is OpenDWG the standard? If you consider the number of products that used that code, I'd have to say yes.

Paul Tracey

I don’t know why more of you don’t use TurboCAD. It’s quick and easy to use deals in 29 different file formats, (four different DWG), is a fraction of the cost of any AutoCAD and support in the UK for the Professional is free.


Hey, people, SolidWorks aren't quite the innocent victim of Autodesk harrassment that many of you imply.

For example, some years ago I already had Mechanical Desktop running, and then installed SoildWorks. Suddenly a "MDT to SW conversion" toolbar appeared right in the middle of the screen every time I opened or started a MDT drawing. AutoCAD is supposed to remember when you close a toolbar, right? Not in this case. It kept reappearing, even when I unloaded the partial menu file.

Next, I deleted the menu file, only to receive an alert box warning me that the file had been "accidentally" deleted, but had been replaced.

I then found the AutoCAD DLL module that had been patched to allow this to take place.

Now it warned me that my AutoCAD installation had become "corrupt" but had been "repaired".

After much digging in the Windows system registry I finally found the entry that was triggering all this and deleted it. No more problem.

...or at least no more problem until a few releases later, when SolidWorks released DWGeditor. Now, every time I opened or started an AutoCAD drawing I would get a great big splash banner right in the middle of my AutoCAD screen advising me that DWGeditor was "powered by SolidWorks". Not only that, it had switched the Windows file association for DWG from AutoCAD to DWGeditor, and would "repair" it every time I switched it back.

I do not pretend for a moment that Autodesk is perfect in everything they do, but let's at least try to take a semi-balanced look at things.

Has anyone else but me noticed that the corporate logo of Dassault Systemes, the parent company of SolidWorks, bears a strange resemblance to the letters "BS"?

Another example of Autodesk bashing involves the ODA. I have heard a pretty good rumour that Autodesk initially applied to join the ODA and would open up the DWG file format providing all other members also opened their file formats. "Oh, no, no" was the reply. "Our formats are secret and must remain so!"

I suspect that Bentley dropped out of the ODA and cut a deal to swap libraries with Autodesk because this gives them guaranteed 100% compatibility, and is probably cheaper than the cost of all the reverse engineering.

I agree wholeheartedly with several earlier posts. The software companies should devote more time and energy to developing better products and to marketing them honestly.

I suggest that very few users are ever going to drop one brand and switch to another as a result of "clever tricks", mudslinging, and legalities because of the user's investment in training and legacy files.

The MCAD vendors in particular should be going after the small 1 to 3 person operations who often have not even heard of the latest 3D modelling software, let alone understand its benefits. There are FAR more of these potential customers than those who will switch brands.

Shakespeare was right: we need to kill all the lawyers.


I tend to agree with Phantom that the boys at Dassault could go thier way and probably make a living without the dream of ever being AutoCAD. Maybe the colored square should be green to reflect thier envy...
And I also feel changing file associations to thier cheesy dwg editor is both silly and agravating. They'll never be AutoCAD...
is that such a bad thing?

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