Friday, April 30, 2021

A copyright troll tries to harvest home floor plans


Kipton, Ohio 2010

Leonard French describes a case of copyright trolling of single family home floor plans by a firm named Plaintiff Design Basics, LLC.  A defendant called Signature Homes fought back. The Seventh Circuit found for the defendant. I’ve never heard of floor plans as a target for trolling!

The case considers some doctrines in copyright law, like scenes a faire and merger.  It illustrates that independent creation of a work is an absolute defense to a copyright claim.  It also involves concepts like wrongful appropriation or copying. 

Again, it’s important that the Copyright Claims Office have procedures to disallow trolls from making claims in implementing the CASE Act.  There are various ways they could do this, like with concepts like commercial viability.

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