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Buildings, Blueprints and Lawsuits: Architectural Copyright Protections and Liabilities


Show Description

As we slowly slip out of the realm of recession and into the thought of recovery and new construction, developers are beginning to think about new buildings and design.  Architects are about to see their business expand and are being asked to design new buildings with origination and flair… or just copy what has already been done.

Really, are we in the real estate business to express our individuality and artistic flair or are we doing this to make money? It may be both, but there is no denying that after years of cutting back costs just to survive, who really wants to spend a bunch of money on original design? Let’s just cut the cost and tell the architect to copy some other building. Sounds like a good idea, no? Well maybe not, and copying building designs may cost you far more than you imagined.

Listen as we discuss with Jeff Reichard, the world of architectural copyright protection and what architects, developers and building owners need to know when planning new development.

This show is not intended to be a lecture on the law. Our purpose is to give everyone involved in the development process enough knowledge to, hopefully, be able to identify warning signs of copyright infringement and how to avoid it, as well as how to protect your own buildings and design.

Some of the questions answered include:

  • Can you copy the design of a building?  If so, what are the limitations imposed by law and how can you get around those limitations?
  • Who actually owns the design of a building and how do you make sure that you own the design?
  • How do you protect and enforce your rights to a design?
  • If you buy a building that is already constructed, should you have any concerns that you may have liability for copyright infringement?

Featured Guests

Jeffrey M. Reichard
Licensed Patent Attorney, Nexsen Pruet Jeff Reichard headshot

Jeff’s article: The 10 Things You Must Know About Architectural Copyrights

Jeff practices primarily in the areas of commercial litigation, construction and intellectual property. He regularly represents owners, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, design professionals and lenders in disputes regarding construction issues, including delays, defects, liens, bonds and related matters. Jeff is a licensed patent attorney who represents both large and small entities in all aspects of intellectual property procurement and enforcement, including prosecution and litigation of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.

Jeff routinely speaks to groups and publishes articles regarding various issues involving construction, patent, trademark and copyright issues. Jeff received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. While in law school, Jeff served as the Manuscripts Editor of the Wake Forest Intellectual Property Law Journal and was a member of the Moot Court Board. Prior to law school, Jeff worked as an engineer for Cisco Systems, Inc. in Research Triangle Park, NC.

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