South Bend, IN – An intellectual property attorney for Garden Homes, of St. Joseph County, Indiana, filed a copyright and trade dress infringement lawsuit against Charles and Maura Weis, of Florida, and Ryan Rans, of Indiana. Charles Weis is the former head coach of the Notre Dame‘s football team. The copyrighted work is custom plans for homes and has been registered by the US Copyright Office.
According the complaint, Garden Homes had been contracted by the defendants to design and build sixteen homes on a parcel of land owned by Charles and Maura Weis. Garden Homes made the plans, which is the copyrighted work, in question, and then built two of the homes. The complaint alleges that the Weises then gave the plans to Rans, who built a third home. The complaint also alleges that the design contains non-functional features that are trade dress. Garden Homes seeks damages and attorneys’ fees.
Practice Tip: Copyright protection extends to any architectural work created on or after December 1, 1990, but architectural designs embodied in buildings constructed prior to that date are not eligible for copyright protection.Complaint – Garden Homes v. Weis
Further information about this case is as follows:
Filed: March 18, 2011 as 3:2011cv00115 Updated: March 19, 2011 01:04:31
Plaintiff: Garden Homes by E L Inc
Defendants: Charles Weis, Maura Weis and Ryan Rans
Referring Judge: Christopher A Nuechterlein
Cause Of Action: Copyright Infringement