Construction Intellectual Property

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State May Not Disclose Trade Secrets Submitted as Part of RFP Response

If you have ever agonized about whether to include certain confidential business information in a bid for a state contract in New Hampshire because of concerns that your competitors might get their hands on it, you should...more

Eleventh Circuit Mops the Floor With Invalidity Ruling: Faux-Hardwood Gets Copyright Protection

Last year, the District Court in Home Legend v. Mannington Mills gave three reasons for its holding that the designs on faux-hardwood flooring material, which are intended to look like real maple floors, were not subject to...more

The Low Bar for Copyright Protection Shown by Flooring

In Home Legend, LLC v. Mannington Mills, Inc., No. 14-13440 (11th Cir. Apr. 29, 2015), the Eleventh Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment and held that a two dimensional laminate flooring design was eligible for...more

Just for Fun: The Stuff of Novels - Construction Practice Newsletter

We’ve all heard of Google. - But have you heard of Google X? - Google X is Google’s somewhat secret research facility, a la Q Branch of Ian Fleming’s 007 spy novel fame, which has as its mission the...more

Can A House Be An Advertisement? The 5th Circ. Thinks So

In the world of general liability insurance policies, it is not uncommon for policies to exclude coverage for claims resulting from copyright or trademark infringement, while covering claims resulting from “advertising...more

Energy Newsletter - January 2015

In This Issue: - Mexico: E&P Regulator Issues First Call for Bids under Round One - Have the Challenges of the Energy Transition been Overcome? - Challenges for energy security in Europe: Do European...more

Copyright in House Plans

A couple, the Ecklunds, approached Oakcraft Homes, a custom home-builder. Based on their discussions, Oakcraft prepared a house plan and gave a copy of the plan to the Ecklunds. The couple later took that plan to a rival home...more

Seventh Circuit Cites Petrella to Save Copyright Suit from Dismissal

Chicago Building Design, P.C., et. al. v. Mongolian House, Inc., et. al. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit applied the Supreme Court of the United States’ May 2014 ruling in Petrella (IP Update, Vol....more

The Need for Homebuilder Vigilance About Copyrights

Are homebuilders as vigilant as they should be in protecting their intellectual property rights — including the copyrights that qualifying architectural drawings and structures receive automatically as a matter of law, even...more

Re-Claiming Credit

When an employee leaves and sets up a competing business, may he or she claim experience for work done by the former employer? The Seventh Circuit recently considered whether an architect – a former employee of a firm – is...more

Architectural Copyrights Should Be Treated No Differently than Other Copyrights

Zalewski v. Cicero Builder Dev., Inc. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in addressing the extent to which architectural works are protectable copyright material and the proper framework for assessing...more

Your Proposal May Be Accessible to Your Competitors: Safeguard Trade Secrets in Government Procurement

Businesses submitting bids, responses to requests for qualifications, and proposals to state and local agencies must remember that generally their submissions are subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act (PRA). The...more

What Makes a Copy-Cat a Copy-Cat? The Complex Case of Architectural Copyright

When an eminent jurist asks, “What does a copyright of an architectural work truly protect?” you may be certain the question is not rhetorical. The U.S. Copyright Act does provide protection from infringement for...more

Builder Beware! Does Your Project Infringe Someone’s Copyright?

On Friday, November 8, 2013, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which comprises Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, affirmed a $3.2 million damages award for copyright infringement in favor of...more

The Architecture of Copyright

This summer, Pacific Standard Time’s world-class exhibits highlight the architecture that gives Southern California its unique reputation for modern but relaxed style. This series of exhibits, a Getty initiative, titled...more

Employee Wrongfully Terminated for Refusing to Engage in Criminal Copyright Infringement

Adam Young worked for an architecture firm, Nortex Foundation Designs Inc. in Fort Worth Texas as a drafter. He was hired in 2001 and designed foundation plans based on copyrighted architectural designs that Nortex provided...more

Copyright and Historical Landmarks

I recently heard that Dubai has planned to build a replica of the Taj Mahal, which will be four times the size of the original and is expected to be completed in two years. The Taj Arabia complex featuring the replica of the...more

The 10 Things You Must Know About Architectural Copyrights

Some people say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, under architectural copyright law, imitation could be a very costly endeavor. Here are ten tips to help contractors, owners and architects protect...more

Insurance Coverage: January 2013

There were no significant decisions of the Supreme Court related to coverage this past quarter. The Courts of Appeal have provided us with several more decisions on contribution and subrogation. The following are brief...more

Ochre LLC v. Rockwell Architecture, Planning and Design, P.C. et al.

Brief in Opposition to Motion by Defendant Project Dynamics to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim

Ochre designed the iconic and much-sought-after "Arctic Pear" line of lighting fixtures. Its lawsuit seeks relief from companies involved in the design and construction of a hotel in Las Vegas that made slavish copies of the...more

Ochre LLC v. Rockwell Architecture, Planning and Design, P.C. et al.

Brief in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim

Ochre designed the iconic and much-sought-after "Arctic Pear" line of lighting fixtures. This lawsuit seeks relief from companies involved in the design and construction of a hotel in Las Vegas that made slavish copies of the...more

Second Circuit Clarifies Copyright Protection for Architectural Works and Drawings

Until 1990, federal law extended copyright protection to original architectural drawings, but generally did not extend such protection to actual buildings, even buildings constructed from protected drawings. The drawings...more

Seeing Orange in the Construction Space

Little did I know when I was writing What’s in an Orange-Colored Home Improvement Business Name? — that two days later, orange-color marks would be asserted in a trademark infringement lawsuit filed in Minnesota federal...more

Duty to Defend a “Looney” Copyright Claim

Here’s a recent case we thought our readers would be interested in that was posted in our May 2012 Media Law Bulletin. When Looney Ricks Kiss Architects, Inc. (Looney) created an architectural design known as the Island...more

'Looney' Copyright Claim Covered: Fifth Circuit Holds Breach of Contract Exclusion Doesn't Bar Liability Insurance Coverage

When Looney Ricks Kiss Architects, Inc. (Looney) created an architectural design known as the Island Park Apartments in 1996, it probably wasn't thinking of insurance coverage law. But, it appears likely that Looney's...more

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