Chatham v. Canterbury Ventures LLC (17-cv-11473).

Matthew Chatham sued building company Canterbury Ventures, its owner Daniel Lewis, and real estate agent Patricia Bergevine for infringing his copyright in a house design. Mr. Chatham developed a set of custom plans for the design of a house, and has since registered his “architectural work” with the U.S. Copyright Office. He gave Canterbury permission to use the custom plans for the sole purpose of building the house for him on a lot that Canterbury was to purchase.  Canterbury did not complete the house by the contracted closing date, and seven months later still had not completed the house.  Mr. Chatham and his wife had earlier sued for breach of contract in state court.  He filed this copyright case after learning that Canterbury was showing the partially-constructed house through defendant Bergevine, a real estate agent.  The Chathams also obtained a lis pendens order, which in Massachusetts is recorded at the registry of deeds and puts prospective buyers on notice of the lawsuit, effectively clouding title on the real estate.  Chatham seeks an order preventing sale of the house, that the house be placed in a constructive trust, and monetary damages and attorneys’ fees.  (Full disclosure – Mr. Chatham is represented by Nathan Harris and John Anastasi of my firm, Lando & Anastasi LLP).

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