Autodesk Australia wins software copyright infringement case

Autodesk Australia has been successful in copyright infringement proceedings against an Adelaide-based engineering company, Ginos Engineers.

Autodesk Australia has been successful in copyright infringement proceedings against an Adelaide-based engineering company, Ginos Engineers Pty Ltd.

On Monday January 19, 2009 the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia ordered Ginos Engineers to pay compensatory damages, plus court costs, for past use of Autodesk software over a 10-year period.

Significantly, the Court made a number of adverse findings about the behaviour of Ginos Engineers and ordered it to pay additional damages of $76,000 for the flagrancy of the infringement.

This is a significant win for Autodesk, as well as the software market overall, as it demonstrates the serious consequences arising from the use of unlicensed software.

Autodesk made numerous attempts to resolve the matter before commencing legal action in August 2007, and Ginos Engineers had been warned it was at risk of court proceedings.

Hanspeter Eiselt, managing director of Autodesk Australia said, “Autodesk works closely with customers to educate them on sound software asset management practices. Taking legal action is always a last resort.”

“We are extremely pleased with the result as it is a win for all software producers,” continued Eiselt.

“The use of infringing software is a serious issue in Australia and elsewhere. As the Court pointed out in this case, an infringer gains an ‘entirely undeserved profit’ through the use of unlicensed software.

The software in question was necessary for Ginos to run its business. And clearly Autodesk was entitled to benefit through the purchase of additional licences.”

Clare Wharrier, spokesperson for the Business Software Alliance (BSA) said, “The protection of intellectual property rights is fundamental to Australia’s standing internationally and to the protection of Australian jobs and innovation.”

“Educating the public on the importance of using properly licensed software helps to protect Australian jobs, Australian talent and encourages people to invest in the local industry.” Autodesk was represented by Gilbert + Tobin.

For more information about the Autodesk licence compliance program, visit www.autodesk.com.au/licencecompliance.