“Residential and commercial appraisers often create floor plans of the structures they appraise and include those plans in their reports. For some assignments, such as certain appraisals for loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, floor plans are an assignment condition. But, do such floor plans violate the copyright held by a building’s designer?

I’ll bet you wouldn’t expect that question to be asked, but asked it was — in federal appellate court last summer, in Designworks Homes Inc. v. Columbia House of Brokers Realty Inc., 9 F.4th 803 (8th Cir. 2021). And the answer? Well, it wasn’t what the professionals and companies that produce and use floor plans of existing structures had hoped to hear. The defendants that lost the case are now asking the Supreme Court to consider the issue, and filed a petition for a writ of certiorari stressing its importance.

If the Supreme Court does not accept review and the Eighth Circuit’s opinion is not reversed, things likely will get a lot more confusing with regard to the creation and use of floor plans by agents, brokers and appraisers — and, really, any professional or business that engages in similar practices, such as property insurance or tax assessment.”

Read the entire article by Peter T. Christensen here.