Ralph Grabowski’s recent post on the RasterDWG trademark assignment agreement between softelec and Autodesk made me dig a bit deeper. As I understand it, Autodesk appears to have convinced softelec to hand over their “RasterDWG” trademark “for good and valuable consideration”. Ralph is of the opinion that ownership of RasterDWG is important to Autodesk for it’s appeal in canceling ODA’s ownership of OpenDWG. Makes a lot of sense. The more DWG related trademarks Autodesk has, the better will be its chances to get the trademark for “DWG” itself, and in the bargain, cancel the DWG related trademarks held by its competitors.
But what does not make sense is that the presumably well paid law firm hired by Autodesk have ignored one of the main rules of trademark registration and branding: “GET THE DOMAIN NAME”. I was quite surprised to find out that rasterdwg.com was not owned by Autodesk. What’s more? rasterdwg.com has never ever been registered by anyone, not even by softelec, which has owned the RasterDWG trademark since 1997. Shocking!!
So I decided to do Autodesk a favor and registered rasterdwg.com before a cyber squatter went ahead and registered it and then demanded a “good and valuable consideration” for it. I have redirected rasterdwg.com to point to autodesk.com. If Autodesk wants the domain name, all it has to do is ask. I will gladly transfer rasterdwg.com to them for no “good and valuable consideration” whatsoever.
Anyways, I have serious doubts about Autodesk being able to pull off this “DWG” trademark stunt. More so since it is now pretty obvious to me that the law firm that they are using gives absolutely no importance to something as important as a domain name.
From the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board documents, I gather that the law firm representing Autodesk in the DWG related trademark cases is Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Incidently, they have the perfect domain name: wsgr.com. This the same firm that is represeting Google and YouTube in defense of a highly publicized copyright infringement action brought against them by Viacom. This is what their web site says about the services that they provide their clients related to Trademarks, Copyrights and Advertising:
“Our attorneys counsel clients on the selection, protection and enforcement of company names, brand names, slogans and trade dress for U.S. and worldwide markets, including registration and licensing. We also assist clients with a wide range of counseling and litigation regarding copyright, consumer protection, unfair competition, and advertising and marketing practices.”
And yet they concluded that rasterdwg.com was of no use to their client. Or maybe they are waiting for some unsuspecting cyber squatter to squat on the domain and then charge their client a bomb to sue the crap out of the him.