Precision Craft Awarded Willful Copyright Damages

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Precision Craft Log and Timber Homes located in Meridian, Idaho was awarded $300,000 as willful copyright damages plus attorney fees of $77,770 in a copyright infringement case against The Cabin Kit Company, located in Prescott Arizona (Case No. CIV 05-199-S-EJL). U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge ruled against The Cabin Kit Company finding they had willfully infringed copyrighted architectural works belonging to Precision Craft.

this case presented some significant legal issues. First, could Cabin Kit be sued here in Idaho as they had never done business in Idaho.

Precision Craft Log and Timber Homes located in Meridian, Idaho was awarded $300,000 as willful copyright damages plus attorney fees of $77,770 in a copyright infringement case against The Cabin Kit Company, located in Prescott Arizona (Case No. CIV 05-199-S-EJL). U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge ruled against The Cabin Kit Company finding they had willfully infringed copyrighted architectural works belonging to Precision Craft.

Precision Craft alleged that The Cabin Kit Company had copied architectural plans that were posted on their website, changed the names and used the plans as their own. In addition to the monetary damages, Judge Lodge issued a permanent injunction against Cabin Kit prohibiting them from using the Precision Craft copyrighted plans.

Attorney Jon M. Steele of the Boise law firm of Runft & Steele Law Offices representing Precision Craft stated "this case presented some significant legal issues. First, could Cabin Kit be sued here in Idaho as they had never done business in Idaho."

U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Lodge found Cabin Kits contacts with Idaho were virtually non-existent. Even considering Cabin Kit's website this was not enough to establish jurisdiction as internet shopping allows items to be bought and sold around the world without the seller entering the buyer's state. But Judge Lodge then found that as Cabin Kit was a competitor and could deliver catalogs, sell cabin plans and materials to customers in Idaho and elsewhere from their website and was using Precision Craft's copyrighted materials without permission and knew that Precision Craft was based in Idaho that the exercise of jurisdiction was reasonable.

Precision Craft had offered Cabin Kit a retroactive license to use their plans before filling suit. The offer of a license was refused and Cabin Kit continued to display Precision Craft's copyrighted architecture works.

Judge Lodge found that the infringement was willful and awarded the maximum statutory damages. This case signified the importance of dealing with an established company who has taken the time and effort to copyright their own original architectural works.

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JENNIFER GRIMES
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