Attorney Steve® Software Licensing & Compliance Updates - Solidworks is getting more aggressive in 2022! Here are the 7 main points you need to come to grips with in my opinion.
June 2023 Update: Solidworks is raising its software prices in July of 2023. This will affect the costs of licensing their products (basic, professional and premium) and we understand the prices may DOUBLE. This will make settlement amounts higher. If you are facing a legal demand letter for software piracy, make sure to have experienced software counsel on your side. We have settled nearly a 1,000 copyright infringement matters since our founding in 2004. Call us to discuss your case at (877) 276-4084.
I want this blog to be a SHORT and CUT-TO-THE-CHASE type of blog. Solidworks (Dassault) is a frequently infringed software product. It is a very useful program that can do many things and has "add ons" like simulation and inspection that are commonly installed with a cracked copy of their software. Yes, they use what we call "phone-home" monitoring technology to detect how many times your company uses their software, the dates, times, and mac addresses for the machines at issue. Sometimes the infringements can run into hundreds of uses spanning several years. We are "A" if not "THE" leading software compliance and dispute defense law firm in the United States. There "may" be one other firm that has the experience and has handled the number of cases we have, but sincerely, I don't think so.
POINT ONE, make no mistake Solidoworks protects its intellectual property, and we help defend cases once you get on their infringement radar.
What to do if you are contacted by a software mediator from Dassault
Typically, many companies will call us after receiving an email or phone call from a Solidworks "mediator" who may provide the "bad news" of potential unlicensed software infringement and make an initial demand to resolve the case amicably. In my experience, these demands are on the high side of things.
POINT TWO, I would not talk to the mediator and admit anything. When you do, they are taking notes of that you can be assured. Instead, I would politely hang up (assuming you do not want to accept their offer), and call us for a consultation about our services. Our number is below.
The most important thing NOT TO DO when you receive the Dassault "Love Letter"
Software infringement litigation is trending up
POINT THREE, I deal with Solidworks IP counsel on a day-to-day basis. We handle lots of cases. I deal with their litigation team at HARNESS IP. They are a very experienced law firm. If your case starts by receiving a letter, this is not time to hee-haw, call us to discuss.
POINT FOUR, you have to get over some basic DENIALS and MISCONCEPTIONS that many potential clients and callers seem to have:
- If there is SW software installed on your network, laptops, computers, company-owned equipment (whether by you or a third party contractor) THE BURDEN WILL SHIFT TO YOU TO PROVE YOU HAVE A LEGAL LICENSE. If you cannot prove that (most cannot), then you are an infringer, and the only question left is what are the damages. This is where my law office comes in to mitigate the potential for a lawsuit.
- Yes, they will file a lawsuit in the right case (mainly if you are a viable entity and have never been an SW client). They consider this to be THEFT of their intellectual property
- No, your business is NOT TOO SMALL. Many people think that just being an individual means there is not really a case for infringement. This is not true, they go after small, medium, and large infringers
- I WILL JUST SHUT DOWN THE BUSINESS. That is fine, that is up to you, but don't forget if you have extensive personal assets and they can allege and prove "willful software infringement" then you can be held PERSONALLY LIABLE despite the so-called "corporate veil."
- Just because you installed the software on one computer, and a backup does not mean they won't try to hit you with infringement on TWO COMPUTERS? Why? You did not have a proper license for either computer.
- You cannot use educational licenses for commercial purposes
- I DID NOT MAKE ANY MONEY is not a defense to software infringement
- I ONLY USED IT FOR A WHILE is not a defense to copyright infringement
- "Everyone pirates software" is not a defense to copyright infringement. One user told us "I know hundreds of people who are using pirated Solidworks as we speak. Everyone is doing it."
- I will just ignore it and take my chances.
If you want to know what happens if you don't get your software case settled and it goes to litigation, this blog I wrote will help illuminate this point.
POINT FIVE, I have it from a good source that Dassault has agreed to increase its litigation budget for 2022. They are taking a more aggressive stance with piracy. Probably, because of what I believe is an increase in cases.
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POINT SIX, we have a low-cost FLAT RATE LEGAL FEE that was designed to fit most budgets. We investigate the case. We present any defenses or mitigating factors. We negotiate the best settlement we can, we try to keep your company out of litigation, we negotiate a final settlement agreement. While you do not have to have a legal counsel represent you to do all this (you can do it yourself), if you would rather stick to your business and what you do best, and want a professional law firm to handle this DISPUTE, then contact us.
POINT SEVEN, We can be reached at (877) 276-5084 or fill out our contact form and we will contact you.
Thank you, and we look forward to working with you to resolve your licensing dispute.