Vondran Legal® Software Dispute Resolution and Litigation - If you received a Subpoena notice from your ISP (ex. Charter), call us for a free initial consultation at (877) 276-5084.
February 2023 update: Ansys has filed another mass copyright infringement lawsuit against 210 Joh n Does in Texas Federal Court.
October 2023 Ansys settlement updates: Ansys is as aggressive as ever seeking demands in excess of $200-500k.
Ansys software has some very expensive products and many of my clients are engineers or former engineers who have installed and used unlicensed Ansys software for months or even years. To combat this piracy, Ansys filed a federal court lawsuit naming a plethora of "John Doe" Defendants in a Texas Federal Court Copyright infringement lawsuit. The court has permitted Ansys to serve subpoenas on the ISP to retrieve the subscribers name and address so they can conduct due diligence to see who the IP address belongs to, and to determine whether or not they are the infringer (usually they are looking for engineers at the address for the IP address). From there, they will reach out to seek to settle the case, usually for some VERY HIGH settlement figures. Their settlement process can be tricky requiring skilled software defense counsel to assist you. Vondran Legal® is a clear leader in the United States in the area of Software Piracy Defense, and we have settled nearly a 1,000 software and copyright cases. We have appeared in over 400 federal copyright litigation cases. This represents substantial experience dealing with some of the most skilled IP attorneys in the country.
The Texas Lawsuit
Here you can see the court permitted Ansys to serve subpoenas on the ISP. Many clients ask "can we quash the subpoena?" Unfortunately, courts have routinely held that Ansys has no other way to try to ascertain the identity of the John Doe Defendant so they have permitted Ansys to do this, and a quash will not likely be effective, and may be seen as frivolous unless solid grounds exist.
To learn more about Subpoena process watch this video.
If you are being sued, you should understand potential damages and penalties
A look at the federal court docket
Here's what has gone on with the case so far. The complaint was filed, and the subpoenas were served. Ultimately, the case was dismissed WITHOUT PREJUDICE (meaning they can still sue the Defendant where they reside). Now, they are going after Defendants via demand letters, and if the cases cannot be settled out-of-court, they can still sue again in the proper jurisdiction.
Frequently asked questions
1. Will I go to jail? No, these are typically civil matters unless for some reason there is mass infringement that could lead to a criminal referral to the FBI/DOJ. But I have never seen this in all my years defending infringement cases.
2. Will my employer find out? Usually, NO, unless you were doing work on behalf of your employer, to benefit your employer financially, and they had the ability to control this but did not. This is also somewhat rare, but not to say it has not happened. But, most cases are settled privately and the employer never gets wind of the dispute.
3. What is the typical settlement? Most will get a settlement demand from $50,000 to $500,000 or more. We work hard to get these settlements substantially reduced, but this can depend on a number of factors such as what software was used, how many copies/products, length of time used, was their commercial usage, what is the net worth of the Defendant. These are some of the main factors that get taken into account.
4. How long does the process take? Typically, I suggest to expect 2-4 weeks for the average case.
5. Will the settlement be confidential and make sure they cannot come back at me? Typically, yes, this is exactly what my clients wants and we are usually able to achieve a proper settlement that closes out all liability and which agreement includes a confidentiality clause.
Contact an Ansys Copyright Defense Law Firm
We know your probably have more questions and concerns. For a free confidential discussion call us at (877) 276-5084 or leave a message with your phone number through our contact form and we will reach out to you. Remember, in these types of cases, a general business firm, or even an experienced litigation attorney with no skill in software settlement and negotiation may end up putting you in a worse position than you started, or get you a settlement on worse terms than you might have been able to achieve with an attorney who has handle as many software disputes as we have.