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Jury’s Copyright Award Against Builder Deemed Excessive

June 2, 2020, 8:51 PM

A jury’s verdict ordering a construction company to pay $296,000 for home design copyright infringement was excessive given the home sale price, the Sixth Circuit ruled in a split opinion.

The house, built by the infringer Reda Home Builders Inc., sold for $320,000. Common law calls for a judge to set aside a verdict “so excessive as to shock the conscience,” a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit said.

Reda failed to adequately document its costs to deduct from revenue as required by copyright law, but the jury wrongly determined Reda spent only...

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