Eleventh Circuit: Similarity of architectural plans depends largely on arrangement of features

In a recent decision, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment of non-infringement in an architectural copyright case. The appellant had argued that the district court had effectively heightened the standard for infringement by performing an element-by-element comparison focusing on the differences between two floor plans. The Eleventh Circuit held the comparison was appropriate given the thin nature of architectural copyright and that, given the differences noted by the district court, summary judgment was appropriate in this case.

More detail on Intervest Constr., Inc. v. Canterbury Estate Homes, Inc. after the jump.


Eleventh Circuit combs over copyright law, idea-expression dichotomy in affirming noninfringement

In a decision this week, the Eleventh Circuit upheld the district court's decision granting summary judgment of no copyright infringement to individuals and entities associated with two Trump buildings and denying the plaintiff leave to file a third amended complaint.  In this regard, the court affirmed a finding that no reasonable, properly instructed jury could find substantial similarity between the plaintiff's copyrighted architectural designs and the design, development, and construction of two Trump Buildings in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida.  To conclude otherwise, the court explained, would require a finding the plaintiff owned a copyright in the concept of particular building design features rather than the particular expression of those design features, a conclusion that would improperly extend the protections of copyright law well beyond their proper scope.
More concerning Oravec v. Sunny Isles Luxury Ventures, L.C. after the jump.


Sixth Circuit: Proper copyright infringement test applied, finding of no infringement affirmed

In a decision Friday, the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of no copyright infringement, holding that the lower court had applied the proper legal standard.  Specifically, while the district court characterized the test for substantial similarity in a different manner, the application of the test was proper insofar as the court removed from consideration elements which were not protectible, and instead compared only the plaintiff's protectible expression to the allegedly infringing work.

More detail of Tiseo Architects, Inc. v. B & B Pools, Serv. & Supply Co. after the jump.


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