Autodesk and DWG

Ralph Grabowski has been doing a good job reporting on Autodesk’s escapades with the DWG trademark. Autodesk has been trying to trademark DWG and cancel trademarks of other companies that have DWG related trademarks such as SolidWorks, OpenDesign Alliance (ODA), etc. His last post resulted in some interesting comments by Evan Yares, the former president of the ODA and Arnold van der Weide, the current president of the ODA.

Evan is suggesting that Autodesk may be trying to legally harrass the ODA and drive it to bankruptcy. Evan’s opinion got my attention quite simply because he ran the ODA long enough to know what the ODA can and cannot do financially. Little wonder that Arnold was quick to point out that, thanks to it’s wealthy sustaining members, bankruptcy was not in the ODA’s future.

I cannot help wondering that if the ODA is financially well off, then why couldn’t they use a better (and more expensive) legal team in the TrustedDWG law suit. If I remember correctly the Autodesk lawyers tool the ODA legal team to the cleaners on that one. But then maybe that’s because they had a weak case to begin with.

I would like to repeat something that someone pointed out to me recently, “Adobe has not trademarked PDF. Microsoft has not trademarked XLS. Yet Autodesk is attempting to trademark DWG“. I wonder what Autodesk is really up to here. Can a file extension be trademarked in the first place? What do you think?