|LOS ANGELES, CA -- A jury has awarded Los Angeles-based William Hablinski Architecture (currently DBA Hablinski+Manion Architecture) a $5.9 million verdict after its plans for a multimillion dollar home were copied with the cooperation of a former employee and used to build a structure replicating the original.
The original design was created for a $20 million Bel Air mansion, owned by Los Angeles real estate mogul Fred Sands. The architect, William Hablinksi, put in an estimated 3,800 hours on the home's design. The copied plans were used on a $14 million home a short distance away. The "copycat" home was built for the owner of a company that in installed the plumbing and bath fixtures for the Sands mansion.
"This is a significant verdict because it confirms the broad scope of copyright protection available to architects and other artists," said Roger N. Behle, Jr., co-counsel for Hablinski+Manion. "Third parties, such as contractors and homeowners, can be held liable for the infringing activities of those they hire. As a result, homeowners must be very careful when they hire someone to design plans. It is up to the homeowner to know who they are dealing with."
Hablinksi encourages other architects to register copyrights on all their work and pursue damages if a copyright is infringed.
For more information on Hablinski's company, please visit: http://www.hablinski-manion.com
Source: Hablinski+Manion Architecture/PRNewswire
This eUpdate posting by: Steve@BuildingOnline.com, Editor