Sunday, January 27, 2008

Architectural Designs For Popular Alexander Homes To Be Part Of Public Domain

Architect William Krisel has dismissed his multi-million dollar copyright and trademark lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California against Pro-Active Business Services, Inc. and other defendants.

In William Krisel v. Pro-Active Business Services, Inc., et al., Case No. 06CV507 SGL, Krisel claimed ownership over the design of homes constructed during the 1950s by the George Alexander Construction Company in the Palm Springs area of Riverside County, California. These popular homes contain flat, butterfly, or folded-plate roofs, open plans, and decorative concrete block walls and are collectively known as "Alexanders" or "Alexander Homes".

The complaint alleged that Pro-Active, along with other defendants, misused Krisel's copyrights and trademarks in connection with recently built residences in the Palm Springs, California area, which were inspired by the designs of mid-century Alexanders.

The Quintana Law Group, APC, counsel for defendant Pro-Active, filed a progression of motions challenging Krisel's claims. Principally, Pro-Active argued in papers filed with the court that the 1958 copyright had fallen into the public domain and further that Krisel failed to properly state a cause of action under federal trademark law for his architectural designs.

In a written opinion entered on September 28, 2006, Judge Stephen Larson agreed, ruling that Krisel's 1958 copyright had lapsed into the public domain, and thus no longer protectible, as a result of Krisel's "failure to adhere to the formailities of the [copyright renewal process that was in place at the time." Judge Larson dismissed with prejudice Krisel's copyright claims based on the 1958 copyright. In addition, Judge Larson dismissed Krisel's trademark claims finding that architectural designs, as artistic expressions, are not protectible under trademark law.

Additional motions filed by the Quintana Law Group, APC on behalf of Pro-Active further removed certain requests for relief made by Krisel.

In November of 2007, Krisel dismissed his infringement lawsuit against Pro-Active and all defendants, with prejudice.

Source: Quintana Law Group:

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