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Autodesk Audits: The Importance of Serial Numbers

In many software audits, the auditing entity like the Business Software Alliance or the Software & Information Industry Association requires a dated proof of purchase to demonstrate when a license for a software product was acquired. However, in audits initiated by Autodesk, the serial number can play a crucial role in demonstrating ownership. Autodesk products are typically upgraded frequently and Autodesk usually issues a new, unique serial number with each purchase. When responding to an Autodesk audit, the business that owns Autodesk products may elect to provide the serial numbers in lieu of the invoices. It is important to provide serial numbers for the versions of the products that are installed and in use as of the date of Autodesk’s letter. For instance, if a company upgraded a copy of AutoCAD ® 2000i to AutoCAD ® 2004, the company should not provide both serial numbers to Autodesk in response to the audit request.

It is also important to realize that Autodesk licenses are generally non-transferrable without Autodesk’s written permission. If an audited company is planning to produce a serial number for a product that was not obtained from an authorized Autodesk reseller, there is a strong likelihood that the company will not get credit for the license.

If you have been audited by Autodesk, please seek advice from experienced counsel before responding.