The Court Of Appeals Affirmed The Dismissal

1573 Words Apr 27th, 2015 7 Pages
The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal. The court concluded that even though there were “identical floor areas, number of parking spaces, the provision of a public plaza, the use of public art, and the orientation of the buildings to ensure water views,” many of these were standard features for high-rise developments and could not be protected because they were simply abstract ideas. Furthermore, there were differences between the two designs including the dimensions of a glass roof on the building, the absence of ornamental ribbons in the defendant’s design, and additional balconies that were not present in the plaintiff’s designs. The court viewed these differences as substantial enough so that no reasonable person would view the structures as being substantially similar. As such, the court concluded that even in the pleading stages of litigation (before discovery), the trial court did not err in dismissing the claim.
Peter highlights the courts’ general unwillingness to recognize infringement of architectural works. There was no doubt that the defendant in Peter had access to the plaintiff’s plans (they worked together previously), and there were certainly some overt similarities in the two developments. However, the court would not even allow the plaintiff the benefit of discovery because, in its view, the differences were too substantial. While making such a fact intensive determination at the pleading stage may be somewhat brash, the nature of “thin”…

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