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Copyright Breach Allegations

November 02, 2017

We spoke to a client about a copyright matter this week.

They had had a company prepare some plans for them based off an initial sketch, however no contract was signed and they did not like the design, so they got the plans drawn up by someone else.

Both plans are similar. The first company asked for a copy of the plans because they were concerned that their copyright had been breached, so our clients provided a copy and pointed out all the differences.

Our clients had a sleepless night after the salesman came back and said that he had done and overlay and concluded that there was a definite copyright infringement.

We are of the view that there is no infringement. Both plans are similar to our client’s original sketch and there is not enough overlap of what is left to be a copyright infringement, so we wrote a terse letter to that effect, pointing out s.202 of the Copyright Act 1968, which refers to false allegations of copyright breach. We told them to fully particularise every aspect of the plan that they say infringes their copyright it they want to take it any further, bearing in mind that their plan is a substantial reproduction of our client’s original plans.

We are hopeful that we will not hear from them again.

For copyright disputes, see Michael Paterson & Associates.

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