Intellectual Property | Real Estate | Technology | Software

Does Solidworks file lawsuits for copyright infringement?

Jul 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Software Licensing Audits

Software Defense Attorney discusses Dassault Solidworks Infringement

software defense law firm

VIDEO:  Click on the picture above to see Attorney Steve review the Federal Court Pacer tool to see if Dassault Solidworks has filed lawsuits in the past few years.  Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our popular legal channel (by clicking on the Red “V” for Victory) which is fast approaching 5,000 subscribers.

Introduction

Solidworks by Dassault creates cutting edge software that helps engineers and designs make quality products.  However, at several thousands of dollars to license the software, piracy claims often surface against startup companies and established companies alike (who may not be aware that one of their employees, contractors, or consultants are using the software) and when you receive a notice of infringement letter that is when many business owners get concerned and call our office.  We can help take care of your problem and help you settle your case with a copyright infringement release.  This blog contains some general information relevant to this topic.

Solidworks website privacy policy

You should always read the terms and conditions of the end user license agreement (“EULA”) and terms and use of a website (for web based software packages).  You may find some interesting things in there.  Here is what I found in a search for Solidworks privacy policy:

DATA COLLECTED:  In order to use certain functions and features of the Site, DS SolidWorks requires that You provide certain Personal Data when visiting or using the Site.  Personal Data may include:”when visiting or using the Site. Personal Data may include:

title, first and last name, postal address, email address, telephone number(s), login and password, university, degree and courses taken, company, company size, department and job title, industry and industry sub-industry sectors, delivery method and people to whom purchases must be shipped, financial data (credit card number and expiry date, name and address of the cardholder), IP address, and any other Data as may be relevant for the purposes listed below.

Audit provision in terms of use

Have you seen this?  When you agree to their terms this may be one you were not quite aware of:

“Audit. During the term of this Agreement and for a period of three (3) years thereafter, you shall establish and maintain accurate information records relating to the use of the Offering, including, without limitation, the list of users accessing and using the Offering. When applicable, such information shall include destruction of the Offering and the measures put in place by you to protect access to and use of the Offering. DS SolidWorks shall have the right – at any time, at its own expense and under reasonable conditions of time and place – to audit and copy these records and/or your use of the Offering. You also hereby authorize DS SolidWorks to verify your compliance with the terms of this Agreement. For such purpose, DS SolidWorks may conduct an audit on your premises during normal business hours, in a manner that minimizes disruption to your business. DS SolidWorks may require you to provide it, or any third party that DS SolidWorks engages to conduct such verification, with machine access, copies of system tools outputs, or other electronic or hard-copy system information as appropriate. If the audit reveals unauthorized use of the Offering, you shall promptly pay to DS SolidWorks any amount(s) owed as a result of such unauthorized use at the Offering’s then-current list price. If such unauthorized use is five percent (5%) or greater of your authorized use with respect to the applicable Offering, then, in addition to you paying the applicable charges, you shall reimburse DS SolidWorks for the cost of such audit. By invoking the rights and procedures described above, DS SolidWorks does not waive its right to enforce this Agreement or to protect its intellectual property by any other means permitted by law.”

As you can see, you may have inadvertently “agreed” to allow your company to be raided (for lack of a better word) by Dassault and its representatives.  We can help prevent these types of onerous software audits.

What to do if you are an engineer or designer and receive a letter from Dassault

The question many companies have is “do I need a software defense lawyer to help me respond to the letter.”  They also want to know “does this make me look guilty.”  My response is the same, NO, business people routinely hire attorneys to help them respond to legal actions for the following reasons:

  1.  They don’t know the law in the area
  2. They don’t have time to drop everything and figure out how to respond
  3. They are not well versed in negotiation
  4. They know nothing about a copyright infringement settlement agreement or what terms are needed
  5. They simply “do not want to deal with it”
  6. They are not sure if this could turn into a criminal case (even if nothing criminal was done, criminal threats are sometimes made)

None of these reasons implies the owner, officer or director of the company is guilty of software piracy.

If you receive a letter here are my top 5 tips

  1. Call us before you call them or email them (potentially saying damaging things). We offer a free initial consultation to business owners who have received a notice of infringement.
  2. Decide whether or not you want to respond.
  3. If you respond, decide what you settlement goal is
  4. Negotiate (tip: in many cases they will settle by purchasing a license).  A standard license may cost you about 4k.
  5. Make sure you are getting a copyright infringement release if settling the case.  You want to make sure you cannot be sued in court after settling.

Resources

  1. CEO of Solidworks gives piracy statement (talks about software being sold on eBay and Craigslist)
  2. Reddit user talks about friend accused of pirated software use

Contact an intellectual property law firm

We can help you decide which course to pursue.  We offer a no cost initial consultation to persons who have received a cease and desist letter.  Call us at (877) 276-5084.  We offer low flat rate fees (no triple billing) designed to make it affordable to have a copyright lawyer on your side.

The following two tabs change content below.
We are a business and civil litigation firm with a focus on copyright infringement cases involving illegal movie downloads (torrent cases such as London Has Fallen, ME2 Productions and Malibu Media defense), software audits (ex. Microsoft audits, SPLA, Autodesk audit notification letter, Siemens PLM defense, SIIA, Adobe and Business Software Alliance defense) and other software vendors threatening piracy and infringement. We also handle cases involving internet law, anti-SLAPP, media law, right of publicity, trademarks & domain name infringement, and we have a niche practice area handling California BRE licensing disputes, accusations, subpoena response, statement of issues and investigations. We have offices in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, San Diego & Phoenix, Arizona and accept federal copyright and trademark cases nationwide. All content on our website is general legal information only and not a substitute for legal advice, and should not be relied upon. Decisions to hire counsel should not be based on advertising alone. Blogs, videos and podcasts are authored by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise noted. We can be reached at (877) 276-5084.

Latest posts by Vondran Legal - Civil Litigation firm handling Software audits, Copyright Infringement, Internet law, and general Business & Real Estate law (see all)

Comments are closed.