ICC Defends Acceptance Criteria Copyright

Originally published by: PHCP PROSSeptember 20, 2016

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A federal court cleared the path for ICC Evaluation Services to proceed with its copyright infringement complaint against the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, Inc. when the court denied IAPMO’s motion to have the case dismissed.

On Jan. 13, 2016, ICC-ES, a subsidiary of the International Code Council, filed a lawsuit against IAPMO and IAPMO Evaluation Service, LLC, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging the willful and unauthorized copying of at least 17 ICC-ES copyrighted works, including 14 ICC-ES evaluation reports and four acceptance criteria that thousands of designers, manufacturers, and building safety and fire prevention professionals rely on to ensure the highest standards of construction safety across the United States.

IAPMO responded by asking the Court to dismiss the case.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan struck down IAPMO’s arguments to dismiss ICC-ES’ federal copyright claims as “unavailing,” noting that side-by-side comparisons of ICC-ES’ copyrighted materials with IAPMO’s allegedly infringing works that were presented to the court as evidence along with ICC-ES’ complaint, “could permit a reasonable observer to conclude that appropriation occurred.”