Reading this https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/kicad-users/conversations/messages/18130
it sounds indeed like a very muddy situation.
Multiple companies were involved, sliced, diced and sold. Maybe, we don't know, with a change of employment contract. Two countries were involved (Germany, UK), so maybe two sets of employment laws and IP laws need to be taken into account. The change to part-time work likely included (yet another?) change of employment contract. The router was originally created during part-time work, in his spare time, but while having full access to the company knowledge and resources. And created as a showcase to convince his employer it can be done, and he actually lobbied his employer to take the code.
That is the stuff that can keep an army of lawyer busy, and help a few of them to earn the money for a second house, complete with a new Porsche in the garage.
Regarding the code. If we just assume Zuken has rights to the code and/or intellectual property rights (I said "assume"!), then copying the code around and mirroring it doesn't whitewash the code.
And a second thing, this is code developed behind closed doors, by a single programmer, for seven years. Lone heroes developing code on their own, lacking the feedback of peers and supervisors, tend to end up with rather individual and special coding styles. Typically such code is not easy to maintain.
Third, the code is supposed to be the implementation of a number of complex algorithms, some highly optimized, some not finished, despite working on it almost daily for seven years. Algorithms, that aren't documented (except one paper from 1985), and only exist in the mind of the programmer. Self-documenting code? Gimme a break.
I doubt there are many people around willing and capable of working on that code. Maybe some government organization somewhere is looking into it, trying to find out if it is really as good as he claims. But they are not doing it for the community (according to his posting the Chinese government already "expressed an interest") .
And what if the algorithm isn't as good as he claims? Then someone touching the code would sit there with legal problems, a code base hacked together by a lone hero over the time of seven years, and an algorithm which couldn't be made to work by the inventor.