Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act Claims Can Result In Large Financial Recoveries When A Builder Steal The Work of An Architect by Texas Architect Copyright Lawyer and Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act Claim Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

Texas Intellectual Property Lawyer, Jason Coomer handles copyright infringement lawsuits including architectural works copyright claims. Further, he represents architects who have had their work and designs stolen by builders and businesses. Through the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (AWCPA), an architect whose work was stolen by a builder can seek damages for infringing structures. Architecture Copyright Infringement Lawyer, Jason Coomer handles Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act Claims for architects who have had their work stolen by builders. 

If you are an architect who has discovered infringement of your architectural designs and are interested in filing a copyright infringement claim to seek damages for theft of your design, contact Texas Architecture Copyright Lawyer Jason Coomer via e-mail or use our online submission form to send us information about your architectural copyright infringement claim.

Architect Copyrights | Texas Architect Copyright Infringement Lawyer

Do Architects and Other Copyright Owners have Exclusive Rights?

The owner of a copyright has several exclusive rights to the copyrighted work, including the exclusive right to prepare derivative works from the original, the right to make or distribute copies and the right to publish the work. A violation of the copyright owner's exclusive rights constitutes an infringement entitling the owner to injunctive relief to stop the infringement and to monetary damages. Under the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (AWCPA), a design professional may, therefore, invoke copyright remedies not only for copycat building practices, but also for other unauthorized uses of the protected design.

What Architectural Works Are Covered By Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act?

The Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (AWCPA) only protects “architectural works” created on or after December 1, 1990, and some earlier designs so long as they were unconstructed and unpublished as of that date. In determining when a design was created remember that a drawing can be created gradually, as each part is committed to paper.

The Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act defines "architectural work" as the design of a building as embodied in any tangible medium of expression, including a building, architectural plans, or drawings. The work includes the overall form, as well as the arrangement and composition of spaces and elements in the design, but does not include individual standard features. 

The Act covers a variety of "buildings" designed to be occupied by humans, such as houses, churches, museums, office buildings, apartments, and condos.  Structures other than buildings that are major civil engineering structures such as bridges, cloverleaf highway interchanges, dams, walkways, tents, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, and boats are not protected under this act.

Additionally, the Act does not protect standard configurations of spaces, and individual standard features, such as windows, doors, and other staple building components, as well as functional elements whose design or placement is dictated by utilitarian concerns.

What is Copyright Infringement and Who Determines Infringement Issues?

Copyright infringement is defined as an unauthorized violation of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner. Copying the architectural work by duplicating the original drawing or constructing a duplicate building from the original drawing or from the original building are examples of infringement. Infringement can be proven through evidence of direct copying or can be inferred where the copyright owner proves that the infringer had access to the original work and substantial similarities exist between the original and the copy. A perfect copy or replica is not required to prove copyright infringement. The test is whether or not the average lay observer would recognize that the copy was appropriated from the original work.

The federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction to determine copyright infringement. In most cases, the federal district court where the defendant resides is the proper venue for an infringement lawsuit.

Is Registration Required for Copyright Protection or to File an Infringement Lawsuit?

Registration of the architectural work with the U.S. Copyright Office, while not required for copyright protection, is a prerequisite to filing an infringement lawsuit. If the copyright is not registered before the act of infringement, the damages recoverable are limited to actual damages suffered by the copyright owner plus profits derived by the infringer. If the copyright is registered before the infringement occurs, the copyright owner may elect to recover statutory damages and is entitled to recover his or her attorneys' fees.

The Law Offices of Jason S. Coomer helps architects seek damages for builders that have stolen, taken, or infringed on their architectural designs.  He works with other Texas Architecture Copyright Lawyers including Houston Architecture Copyright Lawyers, Dallas Texas Architectural Design Copyright Lawyers, San Antonio Architecture Copyright Lawyers, and Austin Architecture Copyright Lawyers to handle Texas architectural copyright claims.

If you need a Texas Architectural Design Copyright Lawyer or a Texas Copyright Infringement Lawyer to advise you on an architecture copyright infringement claim, contact Texas Architecture Copyright Infringement Lawyer Jason Coomer.

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