Houston apartment complexes fight over color scheme

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | May 15, 2013

HOUSTON - Arguing Timberlakes Lighthouse Apartments LP II, SMC Management Corp. and Boston resident Stephen M. Chapman are using its color scheme without permission, WW Tradewinds LLC pursues legal action.

A lawsuit filed May 10 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas claims the defendants painted the Lighthouse at Willowbrook Apartments in northwest Houston the same colors as that of the plaintiff's Tradewinds Apartments.

The properties are located on each side of North Gessner Road and the architecture of each property's respective apartment buildings "are similar, if not identical," prompting Tradewinds to "develop a unique and distinctive aesthetic for its community," the suit says.

Tradewinds then hired The Color People to design the scheme for $4,098.67 and tabbed United Renovations to perform painting services at the cost of $174,555 as well as spent about $17,000 on new signage and a monument that matches the colors.

A month after the first building was given a coat of paint, the complainant noticed that Lighthouse was painting the exterior of one of its buildings "precisely the same" as its color scheme.

When Tradewinds discussed the matter with the respondent, the original petition says, it was told that "it is the owners' desire to paint Lighthouse the exact colors of Tradewinds" and the defendants' purported intent to have their complex resemble the plaintiff's is "not personal, it is just business."

Another conversation revealed that the Lighthouse workers "are only following" the owners' wishes.

Attorney Andrew R. Korn of The Korn Diaz Firm in Dallas is representing the plaintiff.

Case No. 4:13-CV-1379

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