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Architect Sues Over Alleged Stolen Design

Thursday, June 22, 2017

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The president of Qube Architecture LLC (Suwanee, Georgia), Jeehoon Park, has accused major architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (Chicago) of falsely claiming design credit for the 104-story One World Trade Center.

Park alleges that the WTC bears “a striking similarity” to a tower he designed while at graduate school at the Illinois Institute of Technology called Cityfront ’99, a 122-story tower that, much like the WTC, featured narrow upright and inverted triangle shapes.

Images via court documents

Jeehoon Park alleges that the One World Trade Center (right) bears “a striking similarity” to a tower he designed while at graduate school at the Illinois Institute of Technology called Cityfront ’99, a 122-story tower that, much like the WTC, featured narrow upright and inverted triangle shapes.

Park is seeking credit for the design he says inspired the New York City building, which stands at 1,776 feet and is considered to be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. He is also seeking unspecified damages, including for harm to his architectural practice.

"Our client frankly didn't know what his legal rights were until he came to us," said Park’s lawyer Dan Kent. "We believe we are well within any statutes of limitations, and that the wrongful conduct is ongoing."

According to the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act passed in 1990, original designs are protected in any form, including plans and drawings, which would cover Park’s thesis design of Cityfront ’99.

According to the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act passed in 1990, original designs are protected in any form including plans and drawings, which would cover Park’s thesis design of Cityfront ’99.

Park will have to prove that the two designs are “substantially similar” and that SOM would have had access to the original design.

He alleges that’s the case, because a former adviser of his from his graduate school days is now employed at the firm. In addition to that, he cites that the plans have been on display at IIT and the design also appeared in the 2006 film The Lake House.

Park registered his design for Cityfront ‘99 with the U.S. Copyright Office on May 9, and officially filed against SOM on June 14. Other named defendants in are the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Tishman Construction Co. SOM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

   

Tagged categories: Design; Design build; Lawsuits

Comment from john lienert, (6/22/2017, 3:33 AM)

coincidence ?? HA-HA


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