Only Online - USGlass July 2006
ICC vs. NFPA Lawsuit Continues; Motion for Summary Judgment Denied
The copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the International Code Council (ICC) in 2002 against the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will continue, at least for now.
In August 2002, the ICC filed suit against the NFPA, alleging that the model
code NFPA 5000 contained 300 sections and 20 tables copied from the ICC's 2000
International Building Code (IBC).
NFPA argued that the sections and tables they are accused of having copied are ideas, not expressions, and cannot be copyrighted. They also argued that the ICC didn't own the language they claim is copied but that rather the people who wrote the document did, and they argue that NFPA did not copy the language the ICC is alleging it did.
Judge Pallmeyer found that the NFPA failed to prove its cases in both the question of ownership and argument that the sections in question were ideas that could not be copyrighted. Additionally, it was decided that the question of whether or not the NFPA copied the material was also disputable.
The case was set for a status hearing in April, at which time a jury trial was scheduled for October 20, 2006. Deadlines for pretrial orders were set, though if the ICC and NFPA agree to it, they still have the option of settling the matter before that time.
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