Copyright Infringement of Design of Cellular Telephone Retail Stores

An architectural firm filed a claim in arbitration against a wireless service provider for copyright infringement over its alleged use of certain architectural drawings in the design of the wireless service provider’s retail stores, claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

An architectural firm filed a claim in arbitration against a wireless service provider for copyright infringement over its alleged use of certain architectural drawings in the design of the wireless service provider’s retail stores, claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. The defendant retained Cornerstone Research, Ms. Christine Hammer, a certified public accountant and senior advisor with Cornerstone Research, and Dr. Gregory Rosston of Stanford University to analyze the plaintiff’s damages claims. Ms. Hammer and Dr. Rosston submitted expert reports and testified before an arbitration panel.

The arbitration panel found no copyright infringement or attendant damages.

Dr. Rosston analyzed the percentage of revenue attributable to the stores’ design and the percentage due to other factors such as the defendant’s cellular network, marketing, and customer service. He also assessed the plaintiff’s assessment of the value attributable to the copyright. Ms. Hammer analyzed the plaintiff’s damages claims. She also allocated all relevant operating costs to the defendant stores allegedly built using the plaintiff’s designs to determine profitability on a per store basis for possible disgorgement damages. The arbitration panel found there was a breach of contract (and awarded less than $1million on that basis) but no copyright infringement or attendant damages. The panel also found that the plaintiff failed to prove sufficient nexus between store design and the defendant profits.