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LawTalk
LawTalk, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 36351
Experience:  I have more than 25 years experience in the practice of law.
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We used to build homes and quit in 2013-one of the companies

Customer Question

We used to build homes and quit in 2013-one of the companies is claiming that we used their house plans more than one time and only paid to use them once-they are citing 8 times that we did this. They are claiming copyright infringement . We are in NC is there a statute of limitations on this type of thing?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: NC
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Just a letter from an attorney.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The attorney is saying this is a federal offense and that they can sue us for the profits from these homes. Nothing else.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. Please don't confuse excellent service with a satisfactory outcome based on your wants and desires. I can only explain the law to you---not guarantee that you will be happy with the outcome---any more than a cancer surgeon can guarantee a cure.

Based on your statement of the facts, it appears clear that you did violate the one-house per copy of plans you paid for and which was a part of the sale agreement of the plans to begin with---the license you were granted when you bought the plans and you can be sued under 2 separate theories of law. The first, which they are alleging is copyright violation, they have only 3 years from the date that they first learn of your violation to file suit. The second possibility would be a suit for breach of contract, and under NC law, the statute of limitations for breach of a written contract is 3 years from the date of the breach---which would have been the time that you began construction of the second home with the same plans.

And it is true, that in a copyright action, the copyright holder may sue to recover the profits that you gained from the violation of that copyright.

I strongly suggest that you consider retaining a local copyright litigation attorney to assist in the preparation of your defense in the event that you are sued.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. As I am not an employee of JustAnswer, please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am compensated for assisting you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Good evening,

It is possible that your questions and issues might be better served by an in-depth conversation with me. If you are interested, for a very nominal charge I can offer you a private phone conference.

Please know that I answered your question in good faith, providing you with the information that you asked for, and I did that with the expectation that you would act likewise and rate my service to you. If I have already provided you with the information you asked for and you have no additional questions, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,

Doug

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