Copy-Catting: Intellectual Property Principles and Rights

Refresh, re-frame, or refocus your knowledge of intellectual property law in relation to the architecture profession.


This course instructs architects and other design professionals about principles of intellectual property law as they relate to the creation, reproduction and use of original drawings, specifications and other documents. It is based on the premise that every design professional should have a solid working knowledge of intellectual property law, particularly copyright law, as it affects their work products and their use of other people’s work products. The issues have to do with compensation, professional credit and professional liability and are very important to the business of architecture.

Learning objectives

  • Contrast the rights obtained when granted a patent with those incident to copyright.
  • Describe the difference between “technical drawings” and an “architectural work.”
  • Articulate and describe the need for, and benefits of, registering a copyright with the US Copyright Office, including the five exclusive rights granted to the owner of a copyright.
  • Relate how the AIA form documents use the copyright to leverage the ability to obtain payment, restrict inappropriate reuse of documents and manage professional liability risks.

This course is part of a series

User rating:
Average: 4.5 (752 votes)
 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • RIBA


  • Charles R. Heuer

    FAIA, Esq.

    Principal | The Heuer Law Group

    Charles R. Heuer, FAIA, Esq. holds an NCARB certificate and is a registered architect in...
  • David B. Richards


    COO and Principal | ROSSETTI

    David Richards is the Chief Operating Officer and a Principal of ROSSETTI, an international leader...