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An architect’s preliminary design for a hospital modernization program was too abstract and generalized to qualify for copyright protection, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed Dec. 27 ( Eli Attia v. Society of the New York Hospital, et al., 2d Cir., No. 98-7797, 12/27/99.)

Eli Attia, an architect, submitted preliminary drawings for the renovation of New York Hospital. He was not, however, chosen as the architect to design the final project. That honor went to a consortium of three other architectural firms. The plans subsequently submitted by those firms, Attia alleged, unlawfully copied his drawings. Attia sued the firms and the hospital for copyright infringement and reverse passing off under the Lanham Act.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment for the defendants, concluding that no reasonable jury could find for the plaintiff on any of his claims. The Second Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Pierre N. Leval, affirmed.

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