Last month Autodesk sought a preliminary injunction against the makers of ZWCAD+ software in the Netherlands. We believe ZWCAD+ was developed with unauthorized use of our code – specifically AutoCAD 2008 code. For more than 30 years, our flagship product AutoCAD has been used by millions of amazing architects, designers, engineers and creative professionals that imagine, design and create the world around us. We can’t tolerate copying or taking of our intellectual property: it’s a disservice to us and our customers.
Since ZWCAD affiliates recently made some rather misleading declarations about the lawsuit, we’d like to set the record straight here.
On April 7, the court issued its ruling. ZWCAD Design has characterized the ruling as a “landslide win.” Hardly. This was a preliminary hearing and there will be others. This is a multi-step legal process that’s going to take a while. And although the court did not issue the preliminary injunction, it did order the deposit of ZWCAD+ source code, build and mastering scripts, third-party binary components and libraries, opening the door for a third-party code-level review of both ZWCAD+ and AutoCAD in subsequent proceedings.
Specifically, the court found that “[t]he fact that many functions of AutoCAD 2008 that do not make a logical contribution for the user regarding the operation of the system or that can be classified as errors return in ZWCAD+ offers, in our provisional opinion, sufficient grounds to allow the claimed relief, no matter the explanations given by the defendants regarding these similarities.”
We view the judge’s decision as a step in the right direction and look forward to the review.