ZWCAD DESIGN CO., LTD. (ZWCAD DESIGN), the developer of ZWCAD+, has noticed from the blog of Ralph Grabowski, Editor of upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd., the revelation of the intellectual property dispute between ZWCAD DESIGN and AUTODESK. In order to give its clients, business partners and industry insiders a clearer and more accurate understanding of this issue, here is a declaration from ZWCAD DESIGN:
1. Currently the intellectual property dispute between the two versions of ZWCAD+, 2012 and 2014, and AutoCAD 2008 does exist. The fact remains, however, that ZWCAD+ is the independently developed product of ZWCAD DESIGN, with legitimate intellectual property rights verified by the National Copyright Administration of the People’s Republic of China.
2. The claim of source code copying by AUTODESK is merely a unilateral conclusion based on some similarities of function and interface. Such similarity widely exists in different CAD software. ZWCAD DESIGN has provided its plea statement to the Dutch court (this dispute has already been initiated by AUTODESK in the Netherlands as mentioned in the following statement), defending the similarities as reasonable results of solving similar engineering problems, rather than source code copying.
3. The lawsuit is still in progress.
1) On February 7, 2014, ZWCAD DESIGN received a legal letter from AUTODESK which accused ZWCAD+ of intellectual property infringement and emphasized that “ZWCAD+ did not accomplish this remarkable transformation through innovation and honest labor, but by misappropriating significant portions of AUTODESK’s proprietary source code.”
2) On February 21, ZWCAD DESIGN received the summons for a hearing in The Hague, the Netherlands, which was set to take place on March 17. AUTODESK listed ZWCAD DESIGN, ZWCAD Netherlands and the ZWCAD Belgium partner as the defendants, and claimed ZWCAD+ 2012 and 2014, developed by ZWCAD DESIGN, were guilty of copying portion of AutoCAD 2008 source code.
3) In order to protect its legal rights and interests, ZWCAD DESIGN worked to refute AUTODESK’s claims which were not supported by the court. The court did not rule out a verdict on-site as it found the lawsuit very complex. The verdict, therefore, was delayed to April 7.
4) The verdict for the lawsuit in the Netherlands was supposed to be given within 30 days due to the fast and swift procedures in the Hague court. At that time ZWCAD DESIGN had the same tacit understanding as AUTODESK did, not to disclose any news of the Dutch court to the public.
5) On March 26, ZWCAD DESIGN learnt that AUTODESK filed another lawsuit in the US while there has not been any substantial result from the lawsuit in the Netherlands. Currently the lawsuit in the US is on hold and the US court has not yet officially informed ZWCAD DESIGN.
4. How to understand this intellectual property dispute?
1) As a CAD developer, ZWCAD DESIGN has always been committed to developing world class CAD software. ZWCAD DESIGN is the de facto competitor of AUTODESK.
2) In 2009, AUTODESK initiated a price cutting plan in Mainland China that was aimed at ZWSOFT, the parent company of ZWCAD DESIGN. It cut the price of AutoCAD in China by 80%, which violated the principle of fair and free market competition and tried to take down ZWSOFT.
3) The 2014 intellectual property lawsuit is undoubtedly the extension of its vicious market competition plan. In the first instance of the lawsuit in the Netherlands, ZWCAD DESIGN delivered its plea statement for all AUTODESK’s claims, while AUTODESK chose to ignore it and filed another lawsuit in the US. This issue is no longer simply an Intellectual Property Dispute. Apparently it is the big company using its resource advantage in a bid to strike down a future competitor.
5. ZWCAD DESIGN has been investing no less than 30% of its annual revenue into R&D every year. It has an R&D team that has unquestionable integrity and is fully capable of developing its own core technology and product. The first test version of ZWCAD+ debuted at the Global Partner Conference in March 2012, and the following versions were improved under the witness of global partners with relevant release records.
In the 2014 version, ZWCAD+ even provides innovative features that cannot be found in AutoCAD, such as SmartVoice, SmartMouse, File Compare and third party cloud storage functions. The fundamental reason for this dispute is the high quality and outstanding market performance of ZWCAD+, and how this has harmed AUTODESK, leading to the acceleration of AUTODESK’s plan to strike down ZWCAD+.
6. ZWCAD DESIGN always respects intellectual property of other people, and also pays close attention to protect their own intellectual property. In light of the two lawsuits currently in progress, ZWCAD DESIGN would like to ensure its clients and partners that ZWCAD+ contains no intellectual property infringement. ZWCAD DESIGN will continue to provide high quality products to its clients as always. Any behavior that defames ZWCAD+’s intellectual property and misleads the market and customers is irresponsible. ZWCAD DESIGN will reserve the right to take legal action to protect its rights and interests.
7. ZWCAD DESIGN believes in the value of free market competition as well as the benefit of its products and services to our clients and partners. The challenges that ZWCAD DESIGN are now facing from AUTODESK’s violation of free market competition principles, are just the inevitable cost of a small company becoming a great company.
8. At present the business of ZWCAD DESIGN will go on as usual. We will still concentrate our efforts on our clients, partners and employees.
Whenever there are any updates, ZWCAD DESIGN will communicate to the public in time. Please stay tuned.
The ZWCAD DESIGN Team
April 4, 2014