Withdraws Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against NFPA; Pays NFPA
Undisclosed Amount for Legal Fees and Costs
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced that
it and the International Code Council (ICC) have settled several
disputes relating to copyright and trademark issues. The settlement
protects NFPA's right to continue to publish and distribute its
NFPA 5000®, Building Construction and Safety Code® and resolves
issues related to NFPA's and ICC's trademarks.
In 2002, the ICC sued NFPA in Chicago federal court charging that
NFPA infringed the copyright in ICC's International Building Code®.
Under the terms of the settlement announced today, ICC has withdrawn
the lawsuit "with prejudice," meaning the ICC's copyright
infringement charges against NFPA have been given up and can never
be brought again. The terms of the settlement also limit in various
ways ICC's ability to sue NFPA with new allegations of copyright
infringement in the future.
In separate litigation filed in Massachusetts federal court in 2003,
NFPA brought a suit against ICC for trademark infringement and for
violation of a 1999 settlement agreement. That case involved ICC's
use of NFPA's International Electrical Code® trademark as well
as other similar trademarks. In the settlement just announced, ICC
has agreed to discontinue using the challenged trademarks and to
take other steps to ensure that ICC will not infringe NFPA's marks
in the future.
A third dispute in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office involving
the use of the phrase "Certified Building Official" has
also been resolved in a manner that will allow NFPA to register
its certification marks, "NFPA-Certified Building Official"
As part of the settlement of these disputes, ICC has agreed to pay
NFPA an undisclosed amount of money for legal fees and costs associated
with the litigations.
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