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Autodesk and ASSIMILATE Announce Settlement of copyright infringement

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Autodesk and Assimilate yesterday issued a joint release announcing the settlement of their copyright infringement lawsuit.  This is good news in an era of consolidation that Assimilate is now encumbered from this litigation.   Key Code Media is a partner of both Autodesk and Assimilate and view this as positive for all parties, that being said, we do not have knowledge of the confidential aspects of the settlement and the respective impact to either company.

Autodesk has some amazing products and with the recent Flame Premium bundle which incorporates Flame, Smoke and Lustre, the creative community has a compelling and integrated conform, FX and color grade bundle priced competitively in our new economy.  Key Code Media is very bullish on this combined integration.  Additionally, Autodesk has had solid success with Autodesk Smoke on a Macintosh, OSX this past year.  Although sales did not go to the level of expectations most of the community had expected, the interest and momentum has been a plus.   More importantly, Autodesk has brought the pricing of the tools within reach of a much wider part of the market.  Key Code Media is honored to be an Autodesk partner and look to helping them strongly complete their financial year.

I’ve had numerous conversations with Jeff Edson, CEO of Assimilate, about the longer term business ramifications of this litigation.  I am happy that the biggest threat to Assimilate was some draconian ruling by the court such as a “cease and desist order”   Assimilate, with their Scratch grading solution, offers a powerful grading solution priced in the mid range market.   Assimilate is a dispersed Company with no “real” office, or at least no real office I know of.  That keeps them nimble and they make their office in the community: at resellers and clients.  I like what they bring to the game and am happy both companies have worked out their legal issues.

On another Assimilate front, Tony Cacciarelli has moved on to AJA as a product manager and there is unofficial rumblings of another key person moving on in their career.  This being said, Assimilate is actively hiring new talent and in my opinion has a bright future within our industry.

Mike Cavanagh, President, Key Code Media (www.keycodemedia.com)

Here is the official release:
For immediate release

Media Contacts:
Greg Eden                                Aggie Frizzell
Autodesk, Inc.                                ASSIMILATE
greg.eden@autodesk.com                         aggie@assimilateinc.com

Autodesk and ASSIMILATE Announce Settlement

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., SANTA CLARA, Calif., December 2, 2010 — Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) and ASSIMILATE, Inc. announced an agreement to settle a pending lawsuit for copyright infringement brought by Autodesk’s subsidiary, Autodesk Canada Co., against ASSIMILATE.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, was based on Autodesk Canada’s purchase of the intellectual property, including copyright interests, in a software program called Cyborg from an English company, 5D Solutions, Ltd.  The Cyborg software provided digital compositing, color correction and various editing and art functions for the post production and visual effects industry.  The lawsuit alleged that ASSIMILATE’s software program, known as SCRATCH, infringed Autodesk Canada’s copyright in the Cyborg software.

The parties have now settled the dispute.  ASSIMILATE acknowledges that it used code and design elements from Cyborg in its SCRATCH product.  ASSIMILATE apologizes for such use.
Pursuant to the parties’ settlement agreement, ASSIMILATE has made a quitclaim of its rights in Cyborg to Autodesk Canada and has received a perpetual license back from Autodesk Canada for use of that code and those design elements and a release for any past use of that code and those design elements.  Other terms of the settlement are confidential.

About Autodesk
Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries  including the last 15 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects  use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit http://www.autodesk.com.

About ASSIMILATE
ASSIMILATE, a leading force in developing digital cinema technologies, is transforming the post-production of complex imagery projects with its SCRATCH® data workflow and DI tool suite. ASSIMILATE is committed to empowering the broad spectrum of creative and post-production professionals with state-of-the-art, intuitive, data-centric solutions that enable increased productivity and deliver optimal price/performance. To learn more about SCRATCH, see http://www.ASSIMILATEinc.com

Autodesk and AutoCAD are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. © 2010 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

SCRATCH is a registered trademark of ASSIMILATE, Inc.