SIEMENS PLM SOFTWARE LAWSUITS — “THEY’RE BACK!”
I didn’t want to let this one slide. Remember the Siemens Product Lifecycle Management (Siemens PLM) lawsuits (where Siemens sued a number of engineers who used their NX software without a license)? Well, in July, 2018, they have filed their newest copyright Infringement lawsuit (this is the FIFTH TIME they are suing), this time against 107 John Doe Defendants (here in our own Texas Southern District Court, no less).
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does 1-107 (4:18-cv-02344), filed July, 2018
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What happened to the Siemens Product Lifecycle Management’s older lawsuits?
In Wave 1, Siemens solicited licenses for their NX software. At first, we thought that these were bittorrent-based lawsuits like the others we have been dealing with, but then we learned that Siemens was actually tracking the unlicensed USE of the software (e.g., think “software phone home”).
This complicated the lawsuits because they were dealing with actual evidence (rather than the “snapshot bittorrent-based evidence” we have seen in the movie lawsuits). As a result, we put together a list of steps an attorney should take in defending a Siemens PLM lawsuit, and this has proven to be an effective strategy.
Over time, the lawsuit progressed, and eventually Siemens dismissed the lawsuit once they realized who they wanted to name and serve in their own lawsuits, and they filed individual copyright infringement lawsuits against companies they discovered were using their software without a license.
In Wave 2, Siemens filed a similar lawsuit, this time against 100 new defendants. They surprised a number of defendants with settlement numbers of $50,000+ (eventually, we learned that they were settling licenses to their software, and they actually cost that much). This second wave lawsuit “on the books” looked to be a failure because they missed a FRCP Rule 4(m) deadline to name and serve defendants. As a result, they dismissed the entire lawsuit, however, I know that they continued after the dismissal to contact accused defendants (or their attorneys) with the intention of having those accused defendants [now dismissed] purchase a license to cover their use of the Siemens PLM NX software.
WAVES 3-4 (2017 – mid-2018)
In Waves 3-4, Siemens continued to target engineers in their lawsuits. The purpose of these lawsuits was to “legitimize” those who were using their NX software “for profit.” They were more reasonable this time on the settlement amounts (no settlements, just purchase of software licenses), but they allowed the defendant some leeway in determining what software title would best benefit the user, and whether Mach 3 was needed, or whether a lower-cost alternative was an option. Siemens PLM also started to discuss settlement negotiations themselves (e.g., offering money to settle the claims), however, this never materialized.
WAVE 5 (late 2018)
Now in Wave 5, I do not yet know whether these 107 John Doe Defendants are from the same pool as the earlier lawsuits were filed, or whether these are from an entirely new pool of accused infringers. However, at least the lawsuit itself (its intentions, and what to expect) are less of a mystery, as we were able to settle a number of claims in their previous lawsuits through the purchase of a software license.
As always, here is how an attorney should be handling a Siemens PLM software lawsuit, and how we at the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC would handle your Siemens PLM case. This has been an effective strategy in each of the various Siemens PLM lawsuits, and thus I am suggesting it again with this newest wave of lawsuits.
[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Siemens PLM software copyright case and options on how to proceed (even specifically for your circumstances), you can e-mail us at info[at]cashmanlawfirm.com, you can set up a free and confidential phone consultation to speak to us about your Siemens PLM case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].
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