IMSI/Design Reschedules Freeware Launch

15 Jan, 2009 By: Kenneth Wong

Name change prompts delays.

The debut of IMSI/Design's freeware A/CAD LT Express was originally planned for the end of December 2008. This week, company CEO Royal Farros verified the launch is rescheduled for February. The software has also been renamed DoubleCAD XT to emphasize its use in drafting and detailing, Farros explained.

Initially, IMSI/Design named the product A/CAD LT to draw comparison to the targeted competition AutoCAD LT, which is often referred to by the abbreviation ACAD LT.

"We thought we could use A/CAD because it was the expiring mark (through acquisition) of another CAD company and our registration is next in line," said Farros. "Autodesk itself, of course, had abandoned the ACAD trademark some 17 years before, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) records. Regardless, Autodesk said it would oppose in our particular case."

The lawsuit Autodesk filed against its rival SolidWorks in September 2008 serves as proof that the company will vigorously protect its brands. (For more, read "Battle over DWG Continues," January 8, 2009).

A search in the USPTO database reveals Autodesk abandoned its trademark for ACAD in February 1992. Currently, a logo design comprising the word ACAD and an image is registered to ACAD Corp., a California firm that sells CAD software for circuit design. IMSI/Design applied for trademark of the word ACAD in April 2008. The USPTO hasn't ruled one way or another, giving other interested parties a chance to object.

"We very much wanted to be the first to support the new Google SketchUp 7," Farros said. "That didn't ship until the end of 2008 [November]. Having extra time allowed us to work in other good stuff as well, such as nested xrefs, midpoint constraint, better support for AutoCAD and Autodesk Architectural Desktop dimension styles, etc. All in all, [DoubleCAD XT] is a stronger Version 1.0."

DoubleCAD XT will be distributed as a free download at DoubleCAD XT Pro will sell for $695. IMSI/Design has already established a DoubleCAD community forum at

"I have been waiting patiently for A/CAD or whatever it will be called," wrote one forum user, who volunteered to be a beta tester. "I'm a longtime TurboCAD user (from v3), who hopes that this software will help me handle AutoCAD in a more user friendly way."