ATLANTA (CN) – The Trump buildings in Miami do not infringe on the copyrighted designs of a Czech-born architect, the 11th Circuit ruled.
Paul Oravec copyrighted the design of a high-rise building in 1996. The design featured convex and concave segments and elevator cores that protrude through the roof.
Meanwhile, architects were working on the design of the Trump Palace, which was soon joined by its mirror image, the Trump Royale.
Oravec sued in 2004 after seeing an advertisement for the Trump buildings. The district court found that Oravec could not prevail because “a building cannot … infringe the copyright in a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work.”
In 2006, the district court denied Oravec’s motion to amend his suit after registering his graphics as architectural works.
In order for Oravec to prevail on appeal, he would have had to prove that the Trump buildings are substantially similar “with regard to their protected elements.”
Oravec lost his appeal when Judge Wilson held that no jury would find the two works to be substantially similar.
The defendants in this case are Sunny Isles Luxury Ventures, Sieger Suarez Architectural Partnership Inc., Dezer Properties LLC, Dezer Development LLC and Michael Dezer.