Hogloff wrote in post #16721210
Sigma seems to do it everyday. I don't think there is anything legal holding Zeiss back. They have a niche market providing best of class manual focus gear and seem to be happy to stay there.
Sorry, to clarify, the quote I remember was Zeiss mentioning it is impossible (for legal reasons or something similar) to make AF lenses for Canon and Nikon outside Japan, or for non-Japanese companies. I'll try to find that.
Edit: OK, I found the quote.
"Due to international licences, it is not possible at the moment for companies outside Japan to offer AF lenses with EF- or F – mount. So we will concentrate on high-end manual focus lenses with those mounts within the next future.
Carl Zeiss Lenses Team"
The AF Canon/Nikon lenses made outside Japan are still made by Japanese companies. I don't know if reverse engineering is something Zeiss just doesn't want to do and they would need to work with Canon/Nikon to make these lenses, or that it is really illegal for non-Japanese companies to make these lenses (whether they are made in Japan or not).