Texas Architecture Firm's $3.2 Million Award in Copyright Case Upheld by Federal Appeals Court

Nov 08, 2013, 12:37 ET from Osha Liang LLP

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has affirmed a $3.2 million award to an Austin, Texas firm in one of the largest awards on record in an architectural copyright case, according to Osha Liang LLP and the Law Offices of Patrick Zummo.

Last year, a federal jury in Houston sided with Kipp Flores Architects and found that Hallmark Design Homes infringed Kipp Flores Architects' copyrights by constructing hundreds of houses from copyrighted architectural designs in violation of federal law.

After entry of a judgment based on the jury's verdict, Hallmark Design Homes appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to support it. However, the Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling that the case was "well tried" by U.S. Magistrate Judge Francis Stacy, and finding no error in the judgment.

Kipp Flores Architects is represented by attorneys Patrick Zummo, of the Law Offices of Patrick Zummo, in Houston, and Louis Bonham of the Austin office of Osha Liang LLP.

Louis Bonham, counsel for Kipp Flores Architects, said, "Architectural copyright infringement is a significant problem nationally, and we hope the jury verdict and this Fifth Circuit decision will send a message to those in the industry who do not take this issue seriously."

The case is "Kipp Flores Architects, LLC v. Hallmark Design Homes, L.P., et al.," Appeal No. 13-20011, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

This is the second major federal case involving Kipp Flores Architects. In 2001, a federal jury in Norfolk, Va. returned a multi-million-dollar verdict in the firm's favor against two Virginia home building companies. The verdict led to one of the largest architectural copyright infringement judgments in history.

Contacts: Louis Bonham, Osha Liang LLP, (512) 480-0667, and Patrick Zummo, the Law Offices of Patrick Zummo, (713) 651-0590.