Can I copy a house design?
Updated: Dec 8, 2022
No, you can't. Copyright subsists in house design. Copying the house design constitutes copyright infringement.
In Coles v Dormer  QSC 028, the Court held that the replication of a home design infringed the copyright that subsisted in the plans of a home in the same area.
Mr Coles purchased a home in Port Douglas at auction for its distinct architecture.
Mr Coles narrowly outbid the Bredens.
The Bredens engaged the original builders of the home to replicate the home design.
Mr Coles acquired an assignment of copyright from the designer of the home.
Both prior to and during the construction of the Bredens home, Mr Coles informed the Bredens that he was the owner of the copyright in the home design.
The Bredens ignored Mr Coles.
The Court awarded damages in the sum of $10,000 against the Bredens for damages and $60,000 for flagrant infringement.
The Court also ordered that the defendants alter, at their own cost, the external elements of the home.