A case in the Supreme Court has given an important warning to prospective home builders when it comes to home designs. In Milankov Designs & Project Management Pty Ltd v Di Latte [2018] WASC 14, the court found the Di Latte’s breached the copyright of Milankov Designs when they used his designs to build their house without permission.

Usually when an architect or design consultant prepares designs for a fee, there is an implied licence for their client to use the designs for the purpose for which it was sought. However in the Milankov case, the court held that an implied licence will not apply where it would be inconsistent with the terms of a written contract. The contract itself was only for the first stage of the building, and so there could be no implied licence that the Di Latte’s could use the designs to complete the building.

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