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"DWG" redirects here. For the cereal byproduct of the distillation process, see Distillers wet grains.
Filename extension .dwg
Internet media type application/acad
Developed by Autodesk, Open Design Alliance and others
Type of format Computer-aided design

DWG (from drawing) is a binary file format used for storing two- and three- dimensional design data and metadata. It is the native format for several CAD packages including DraftSight, AutoCAD, IntelliCAD (and its variants), Caddie and Open Design Alliance compliant applications . In addition, DWG is supported non-natively by many other CAD applications. The .bak (drawing backup), .dws (drawing standards), .dwt (drawing template) and .sv$ (temporary automatic save) files are also DWG files.

In addition, the two companies will facilitate work process interoperability between their AEC applications through supporting the reciprocal use of available Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).[2]

Version history[edit]

Version Internal version AutoCAD versions
DWG R1.0 MC0.0 AutoCAD Release 1.0
DWG R1.2 AC1.2 AutoCAD Release 1.2
DWG R1.40 AC1.40 AutoCAD Release 1.40
DWG R2.05 AC1.50 AutoCAD Release 2.05
DWG R2.10 AC2.10 AutoCAD Release 2.10
DWG R2.21 AC2.21 AutoCAD Release 2.21
DWG R2.22 AC1001, AC2.22 AutoCAD Release 2.22
DWG R2.50 AC1002 AutoCAD Release 2.50
DWG R2.60 AC1003 AutoCAD Release 2.60
DWG R9 AC1004 AutoCAD Release 9
DWG R10 AC1006 AutoCAD Release 10
DWG R11/12 AC1009 AutoCAD Release 11, AutoCAD Release 12
DWG R13 AC1012 AutoCAD Release 13
DWG R14 AC1014 AutoCAD Release 14
DWG 2000 AC1015 AutoCAD 2000, AutoCAD 2000i, AutoCAD 2002
DWG 2004 AC1018 AutoCAD 2004, AutoCAD 2005, AutoCAD 2006
DWG 2007 AC1021 AutoCAD 2007, AutoCAD 2008, AutoCAD 2009
DWG 2010 AC1024 AutoCAD 2010, AutoCAD 2011, AutoCAD 2012
DWG 2013 AC1027 AutoCAD 2013, AutoCAD 2014, AutoCAD 2015

Legal issues[edit]

On 13 November 2006, Autodesk sued the Open Design Alliance alleging that its DWGdirect libraries infringed Autodesk's trademark for the word "Autodesk", by writing the TrustedDWG watermark (including the word "AutoCAD") into DWG files it created.[3] Nine days later, Autodesk's attorneys won a broad and deep temporary restraining order against the Open Design Alliance.[4] In April 2007, the suit was settled, essentially on Autodesk's terms, with Autodesk modifying the warning message in AutoCAD 2008 (to make it somewhat less alarming), and the Open Design Alliance removing support for writing the TrustedDWG watermark from its DWGdirect libraries. The effect of the temporary restraining order and subsequent consent decree was to render the Open Design Alliance's DWGdirect libraries, from one point of view, incapable of creating DWG files that are 100% compatible with AutoCAD. Others point out that the failure of "100% compatibility" means only that loading such a drawing triggers an essentially irrelevant warning message when the file is opened in AutoCAD.[5]

In 2006, Autodesk applied for registration of US trademarks on "DWG",[6][7] "DWG EXTREME",[8] "DWG TRUECONVERT",[9] "REALDWG",[10] "DWGX",[11] "DWG TRUEVIEW".[12][13] As early as 1996, Autodesk has disclaimed exclusive use of the DWG mark in US trademark filings.[14] Out of these applications, only TRUSTEDDWG has been registered as a trademark by the USPTO. The REALDWG and DWGX registrations were opposed by SolidWorks. The DWG EXTREME, DWG TRUECONVERT, and DWG TRUEVIEW trademark registration applications all received substantial resistance, with the USPTO examining attorney requiring Autodesk to disclaim exclusive use of DWG as a condition for their registration.

In a non-final action in May, 2007, the USPTO examining attorney refused to register the two DWG marks, as they are "merely descriptive" of the use of DWG as a file format name. In September, 2007, Autodesk responded, claiming that DWG has gained a "secondary meaning," separate from its use as a generic file format name.[15]

As of June 22, 2008, all of Autodesk's DWG-related trademark registration proceedings were suspended by the USPTO, pending disposition of trademark opposition and cancellation petitions Autodesk had filed against the Open Design Alliance and Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corporation. The USPTO office actions notifying Autodesk of this noted the following as facts:

  1. DWG is a file format.
  2. Applicant is not the exclusive source of files with the format name DWG.
  3. Applicant does not control the use of DWG by others, either as a trademark or as a file format name.
  4. The submitted survey does not reflect recognition of DWG as a trademark, since no distinction was made between use as a trademark and

use as the name of a file format.

In 2006, Autodesk filed an opposition with the USPTO to the trademark registration of DWGGATEWAY by SolidWorks.[16] Autodesk subsequently filed a petition for cancellation of SolidWorks' trademark registration for DWGEDITOR.[17] In both cases, Autodesk's basis was that they had "been using the DWG name with its CAD software products since at least as early as 1983." The opposition and cancellation actions were consolidated, and suspended pending disposition of Autodesk's US District Court suit against SolidWorks.[18]

In early 2007, Autodesk petitioned the USPTO to cancel the Open Design Alliance's "OpenDWG" trademarks, claiming that they had been abandoned.[19] This cancellation action was suspended pending disposition of Autodesk's US District Court suit against SolidWorks.[20]

In 2008, Autodesk sued SolidWorks in US District Court, arguing that through its marketing efforts, the term "DWG" has lost its original generic meaning and taken on a secondary meaning referring specifically to Autodesk's proprietary drawing file format, and therefore any use of "DWG" in competitive products amounted to trademark infringement.[21] In January, 2010, on the morning that trial was scheduled to begin, Autodesk and SolidWorks settled the suit, with SolidWorks acknowledging Autodesk's trademark rights for DWG, surrendering its trademark registrations for its DWG related projects, and withdrawing its opposition to Autodesk's DWG-related trademark registrations.[22]

In April, 2010, Autodesk and the Open Design Alliance settled their suit, with the Open Design Alliance agreeing to cancel its DWG-based trademark registrations and cease use of DWG and DWG-based trademarks in its product marketing and branding.[23] Because there was no adjudication in either case, the agreements between the parties are not binding upon the USPTO. In March, 2010, the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy at the USPTO determined that evidence submitted by the Open Design Alliance two years earlier was relevant and supported a reasonable ground for refusal to register DWG as a trademark.[24]

In June, 2011 the USPTO issued a final refusal[25] to register DWG as a trademark owned by Autodesk. They were quoted as saying:[26]

DWG is merely descriptive of applicant's goods under Section 2(e)(1) of the Trademark Act for two reasons: (1) DWG is a recognized abbreviation for “drawing," and (2) .dwg is a file format used for computer-aided design (CAD) drawings made both with applicant's CAD software and others' CAD software.

Autodesk appealed the decision. The USPTO affirmed in 2013 their refusal to recognise DWG as a trademark.[27] Despite this, Autodesk websites still claimed DWG as a trademark after the decision.[28]

In late 2014 Autodesk again lost, this time at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The judge dismissed all their arguments.[29]


Autodesk DWG TrueView software is a freeware stand-alone DWG viewer with DWG TrueConvert software included, built on the same viewing engine as AutoCAD software. The freeware Autodesk Design Review software adds a possibility to open DWG files in Design Review to take advantage of measure and markup capabilities, sheet set organization, and status tracking.

DraftSight is zero-cost CAD software from Dassault Systemes that lets users create, edit and view DWG files.

There are no open source viewers for DWG files, although the LibreDWG project is working on free software libraries for DWG.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "File Extension .DWG Details". Fileinfo — The File Extension Source. Computer Knowledge. 
  2. ^ "Autodesk and Bentley to Advance AEC Software Interoperability". 2008-07-08. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  3. ^ Autodesk v. ODA
  4. ^ Autodesk v. ODA See line 35, Transcript
  5. ^ Autodesk v. ODA See line 50, Consent Judgment
  6. ^ "Latest Status Info". Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  7. ^ Latest Status Info
  8. ^ Latest Status Info
  9. ^ Latest Status Info
  10. ^ Latest Status Info
  11. ^ Latest Status Info
  12. ^ Latest Status Info
  13. ^ DWG TrueConverter USA.autodesk.com
  14. ^ Latest Status Info
  15. ^ United States Patent & Trademark Office
  16. ^ "dwg#page1.tif". Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  17. ^ Ttabvue.uspto.gov
  18. ^ Ttabvue.uspto.gov
  19. ^ Ttabvue.uspto.gov
  20. ^ Ttabvue.uspto.gov
  21. ^ "Docket -> 3:08-cv-04397 (Autodesk v. SolidWorks)". Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  22. ^ Complete text of Autodesk's press release - WorldCAD Access
  23. ^ ODA Members | Open Design Alliance
  24. ^ United States Patent & Trademark Office
  25. ^ "Latest Status Info". USPTO. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  26. ^ Grabowski, Ralph. "WorldCAD Access". Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  28. ^ "Service & Support : Viewers". Autodesk, Inc. Archived from the original on 2014-01-31. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  29. ^ Grabowski, Ralph. "upFront.eZine Issue #836". upfrontezine.com. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  30. ^ GNU LibreDWG

External links[edit]