A Houston architectural firm has sued three local companies for alleged breach of copyright in local building projects.

Mark Gooch Designers Inc. (MGD) filed a lawsuit Dec. 19, 2014, in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Dev-Tex Engineering, Dev-Tex Engineering GP, and Arnulfo Rodriguez Construction, citing copyright infringement.

According to the suit, MGD owns copyrights and/or pending applications for copyrights for various architectural works in the Houston area. Arnulfo Rodriguez Construction (ARC) contracted with the plaintiff for an office design project known as the Gosling Park Office Condominiums, the suit states, and ARC was prohibited from reproducing existing copyrighted works.

Gooch presented ARC with several plans with the stipulation MGD retained ownership of the design, the complaint says, and ARC contracted with MGD to complete the Gosling project in 2013. Gooch alleges ARC subsequently copied the design in constructing a second building.

The suit says the defendants copied Mark Gooch's plans illegally, used his work in promotional marketing material and otherwise claimed creation of the projects without consulting him. Gooch alleges breach of contract.

The plaintiff seeks: an injunction preventing further infringement; an order directing the U.S. Marshals Service to impound all copies of the protected works and to destroy all existing copies pending resolution of the lawsuit; actual or statutory damages for all alleged encroachments; and compensation for attorney fees, expenses and costs.

Gooch is represented by attorney Aaron Homer of Hirsch & Westheimer in Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number: 4:14-CV-03643


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