Accused of SolidWorks Copyright Infringement?

Our copyright infringement defense attorneys can help you navigate a SolidWorks copyright infringement case.

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SolidWorks Copyright Infringement Lawyer

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SolidWorks is a computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software produced by Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation (Dassault). The SolidWorks software was designed to be used by creators of technical documentation. 

A valid SolidWorks license can cost up to $10,000 or more. This is one of the reasons why SolidWorks has developed a reputation as being a “frequently infringed” piece of software.

Dassault has a copyright over its software. Copyright is a form of intellectual property under the Copyright Act. This federal law provides creators of original works – including software – a level of control over how that work can be reproduced, copied, distributed, transformed, or downloaded.

If you received a notice from Dassault alleging copyright infringement of SolidWorks software, now is the time to speak with an attorney at Rosenblum Law. Our team of copyright infringement lawyers is ready to assess whether or not the copyright infringement claim is legitimate. If the claim is legitimate, we will work to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement on your behalf. If it is not, we will defend you against the lawsuit in court. Read on to learn more about SolidWorks copyright infringement and how an attorney can help if you infringe on their copyright.

Understanding SolidWorks Copyright Infringement

When an individual or company is charged with allegedly infringing on SolidWorks copyright, it is important for them to understand the laws and consequences of copyright infringement.

What is Copyright Infringement?

Copyright is a type of legal protection provided to someone who created an “original work of authorship.” The scope of an original work is broad and can include music, movies, photos, pieces of writing, and pieces of software. Some people are surprised to discover that copyright protections also extend to software. Copyright is actually the primary form of intellectual property protection for software in the U.S. The copyright owner retains exclusive rights in the software code, including the right to reproduce and distribute it. 

Under U.S. copyright law, the creator of a copyrighted work has the exclusive right to decide what others can do with that work. Federal law also prevents other people and businesses from taking the work and using it as their own. Copyright protection applies to a particular work for the life of the creator, along with another 70 years thereafter. 

It is worth noting that not all elements of a software program are protected by copyright. For example, a copyright does not protect the idea behind a particular software program. In addition, copyright does not protect “functional aspects” of a computer program, which the U.S. Copyright Office has identified as including the algorithms, formatting, functions, logic, or system design of a particular program.

Consequences of Illegal Infringement on Copyrighted Work

Being sued for copyright infringement is a serious matter. The penalties associated with copyright infringement are harsh and potentially devastating for small business owners. For example, if a business is found to have willfully infringed a copyrighted work, such as a piece of software, they may be required to pay a civil penalty per statute of up to $150,000 per work. Innocent infringement is likely to have reduced civil penalties of between $750 and $30,000 per work. These damages are statutory which means it doesn’t matter if the infringer profited or not.

How Laws against Copyright Infringement Protect SolidWorks 

Dassault focuses its copyright infringement claims when it comes to the SolidWorks software. The company periodically alleges that people have reproduced or distributed unauthorized copies of its SolidWorks software, infringing on their copyrighted material. Therefore, SolidWorks may be able to obtain monetary compensation from the infringing party by filing a lawsuit under the U.S. Copyright Act.

SolidWorks’ Responses to Alleged Copyright Infringement

Dassault has policies and procedures in place to detect and address copyright infringement. For example, the SolidWorks software is known to use “phone-home” monitoring technology to detect the number of times a company uses the software, which can include granular data such as the dates of use, the times of use, and IP addresses.  

When it comes to enforcing its copyright, a Solidworks “mediator” will typically contact a business claiming to have evidence of potential unlicensed software infringement. This communication will also often include an initial demand to resolve the alleged infringement. 

For example, the SolidWorks “mediator” may advise the business to purchase a valid license of the SolidWorks software, which can cost up to $10,000. If the business fails to respond to the mediator, the matter may be escalated to a SolidWorks copyright infringement lawsuit.

The Role of a SolidWorks Copyright Infringement Lawyer

Given the complexities associated with copyright infringement law, it is vital for those who receive a copyright infringement notice from SolidWorks to have a competent and qualified copyright attorney representing them. An attorney can assist in negotiating a settlement that may be significantly less than what one would pay if they decided to try and “ do it alone” and represent them self in court as a pro se defendant. 

There is no risk in speaking to a lawyer after receiving a copyright infringement notice from SolidWorks. This is because copyright infringement defense attorneys with Rosenblum Law offer free, confidential consultations to prospective clients. 

During the initial consultation and case evaluation, a client will get the chance to explain what happened and provide relevant facts to the attorney. Based on the information they share, including any relevant documents and communications from SolidWorks, the attorney can provide an overview of their legal rights and potential legal options going forward.

Once hired, the SolidWorks copyright infringement lawyer will craft a response to the cease-and-desist letter or other communication from Dassault. They will also begin gathering and analyzing evidence related to the alleged infringement. In addition, the lawyer will represent their client during negotiations with SolidWorks and, if necessary, create a legal defense strategy to litigate the case in court.


What constitutes copyright infringement of SolidWorks software? 

When SolidWorks software is installed on a network, laptop, computer, and/or company-owned equipment, there needs to be a valid license to download the software. When someone downloads the SolidWorks software without a license, SolidWorks may have grounds to file a copyright infringement claim. 

How does SolidWorks detect and prove copyright infringement?

Dassault is known to deploy “phone home” technology within SolidWorks that tracks the use of its software. This monitoring technology can detect the number of times someone uses the SolidWorks software, along with the exact dates, times, and addresses for the machines at issue. 

What are the potential consequences of copyright infringement?

The potential consequences of copyright infringement can include both civil and criminal penalties. For example, if intentional copyright infringement, also known as willful infringement, is found, then the infringing party could be on the hook for civil penalties of up to $150,000 per work. In addition, they may have to pay statutory damages ranging between $750 and $30,000 per infringed work. 
On the criminal end of the legal spectrum, a defendant may be ordered to pay criminal penalties of up to $250,000 per work and serve up to five years in prison.

What defenses are available against SolidWorks copyright infringement claims?

Defenses that may be available against SolidWorks copyright infringement claims include:
Statute of limitations: There is a limited time for a copyright owner to file a legal action for an alleged copyright violation. If the action is filed outside of this time limit, that is a valid defense.
Licensed Use: If there is evidence indicating that someone has permission to use the SolidWorks software (such as a valid license), then copyright infringement has not occurred.

Can I negotiate a settlement or licensing agreement with SolidWorks?

Yes, it is possible to negotiate a settlement or licensing agreement with SolidWorks. However, Dassault has a team of skilled SolidWorks “mediators” who are trained to try and extract funds from businesses through copyright infringement claims. This is why it makes sense to hire an experienced SolidWorks copyright infringement lawyer to handle the claim on your behalf. A lawyer can engage in negotiations to try and reach an amicable settlement. As the client, you retain the authority to accept or reject a proposed settlement.

How much does it cost to hire a SolidWorks copyright infringement lawyer?

The cost to hire a SolidWorks copyright infringement lawyer will depend primarily on the specific facts and unique circumstances of your particular case. One of the best ways to get a cost estimate for legal services is to schedule a confidential consultation with one of the copyright infringement lawyers with Rosenblum Law. 

What should I bring to my initial consultation with a copyright lawyer?

Bring a copy of the cease-and-desist letter and/or any other communication received from SolidWorks. In addition, if available, bring any materials related to how you gained access and downloaded the SolidWorks software. 

How long does the legal process take in copyright infringement cases?

There is no single right answer to this question. The amount of time the legal process takes in a copyright infringement case will depend on the unique circumstances and factors of your copyright infringement case.

Examples of SolidWorks Copyright Infringement Cases

Dassault has shown it is not all bark and will try to take a bite out of the profits of a company through copyright infringement litigation. For example, in The Dassault Systemes Solidworks Corporation v. Saco Research L.L.C. et al, the defendant company was ordered to pay $80,000 in damages to Dassault. 

In another copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Dassault, the defendant company agreed to pay $20,000 in damages. These and other cases highlight how serious Dassault takes SolidWorks copyright infringement and the legitimate risk of expending significant time and resources litigating a copyright infringement dispute in court.

Contact a Rosenblum Law Copyright Infringement Lawyer Today

If you are accused of copyright infringement by SolidWorks, now is the time for action. In today’s world, copyright infringement can happen by simply clicking a button. In fact, some people do not realize their online actions could be considered a form of infringement.

 This is why it is so important to contact Rosenblum Law today to speak with a respected and reputable SolidWorks copyright infringement lawyer. Our legal team is ready and able to go to work to protect your legal rights. Contact us to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation.

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