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Copying a design or plans

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by ^woody^, 7 May 2012.

  1. ^woody^

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    If I pursue it, then perhaps just the threat of some action, and reporting him to his club, may be enough to give him the wobblies.

    If that fails, then from some reading of past cases, it does seem that if he merely saw my sketch, or if the client described my design to him, then that could be enough. It is knowledge of the concept of the design which matters.

    I am still really annoyed about this, as his client was a right pain - calling me numerous times for various advice and information from design, to build costs, contract advice for the builders and then other advice about other defects around their house! I spent considerable time advising them, and then some other bloke comes along and gets the job

    A claim may even work if I include the client and the Architect - that could help me if the client told the Architect that she wanted him to use my design. Then they can argue between them :evil:
     
  2. chapeau

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    All the client needs to say is he thought it up and you are stuffed. Move on. If I was in your shoes I'd simply be interested to know why the client used the expensive option after you have given so much advice. What put him off using you, make sure it doesn't happen again. However there's none as strange as folk.

    Ask yourself this question if you want to sue...

     
  3. ^woody^

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    No they can't say that, as they have a dated design drawing from me - which is the crux of copyright. The client did not come up with the idea or design

    As for losses? Well, like all IP claims, a concept/design has been copied by others for financial gain. The infringing party has merely used the ideas and expertise of another and passed that on as their own work.
    A claim for damages is intended to put the claimant (me) back into the position I would have been had the infringement not occurred - ie the money I could have got for doing the job. But there can be punitive damages as a sanction for flagrant infringement too. Which I like the sound of:cool:

    I have done, for a long time, prominently displayed the copyright symbol on all my work however trivial it is. Whilst it is not actually necessary to use the symbol to claim copyright, it does serve as a clear reminder to anyone who wants to copy the work.

    I also include other tell-tale marks, text or features as a 'watermark' so that if anyone just wants to copy something I've done, then it is easily identifiable
     
  4. chapeau

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    You assume they are going to tell the truth and prove your case for you after you have gone and sued them.
     
  5. ^woody^

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    I think the facts will speak for themselves when the two designs are compared - "on the balance of probability"
     
  6. jeds

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    Have you considered sending the client an invoice for your design.
     
  7. chapeau

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    Oh Yes They Can.

    Oh No They Can't (there done it for you so no need to repeat)

    All that proves is you drew it before he did.

    Doesn't prove who came up with the idea.

    Yes, and you have to mitigate your losses

    No, you were right the first time, it's the position you would have been in had they not nicked your design.

    That's not the money you could have got for doing the job, it will be substantially (and I mean substantially) less. You never got the job, do you have a contract that shows you did, written would be nice. you might claim for the value of your plans so you will need to show how much you have charged for plans in the past, or if you haven't done this, how much your peers would generally charge.

    For example, I've just paid a guy £325 for plans, structural calcs, building control liasing and planning dept liasing. So take that as a starting position and reduce significantly. Maybe you can get more.....

    if you agreed to draw plans for, lets say £325, and you did so and they fail to pay, then invoice and see what happens. Did you agree that?

    If you feel you can claim for the money you might have made on that job then you need to show you have mitigated your losses by getting another job. You cannot just sit on your backside and hope the money comes in... That might mean doing a job for less than your usual rate.....

    Dream On.

    Loads of lawyers out there will give you a free phone call. Report back on what they say. Just trying to help.
     
  8. ^woody^

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    No. I can't see that an invoice would be appropriate as I have not done any work to invoice on. It was a quote with some concepts, but I can't see how I could charge for that as there was no indication that three would be a charge

    I'm still researching, but I may include his client in an initial letter (of claim) if its appropriate
     
  9. ^woody^

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    I don't know if you have experience of how IP claims work in relation to architectural design or not, and how damages are assessed?

    It is not the same as other civil claims regarding mitigating loss etc. Damages will cover the loss - ie put the copyright holder in the position he would have been in if there was no copying - ie as if the design work was carried out by the designer not the person copying the design. And there is clear provision for damages in excess of actual loss
     
  10. chapeau

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    Go for it woody

    Let us know how you get on
     

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