Urban Living Gets $29 Million Penalty for Copycatting Townhomes

Just this morning, a federal judge ordered developer Urban Living to pay nearly $28 million to Houston home design firm Preston Wood & Associates. Preston Wood sued Urban Living in 2016, claiming that the developer and its business partners made unauthorized use of copyrighted townhome plans Preston Wood had provided 2 years earlier.

The plans were used to build and market 5 developments — including Patterson Street Landing, shown at top just north of Wash Ave. Another, EaDo Place, went up on Polk between Nagle and Live Oak. in 2015:

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Construction on all 5 sites began after Urban Living inked a license agreement in 2014 to use some of Preston Wood’s designs. But according to the design firm, Urban Living never notified it that construction was beginning at any of the townhomes based off the plans, as required by the contract. On top of that, Urban Living also allegedly sublicensed the plans to one of its subsidiaries, Oppidan Homes, without providing a heads-up to Preston Wood, another breach of the agreement. Together in their marketing efforts, both Urban Living and Oppidan later passed around depictions of the developments that Preston Wood says were derivatives of its designs.

At Nagle Park Place — pictured below north of Navigation Blvd. — Cameron Architects allegedly also infringed on Preston Wood’s work through its dealings with Urban Living:

It’s been ordered to pay a much smaller sum: $13,000.

The other 2 problem spots are Stanford Street Landing, just south of Richmond . . .

and 4504 Mount Vernon St., between Richmond and 59:

Urban Living’s attorney Justin Strother tells Swamplot that he and his client “strongly disagree with the judgment,” and hope that the court will hear them out in post-judgment hearings.

Photos: HAR

Infingement Lawsuit

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