Innovation the Loser in Copycat Ruling, Says Builder

Metricon’s failed application, which follows another to the Federal Court in April that was also thrown out, was the final avenue of appeal for the builder, which was fined for copying Porter Davis’ "alfresco quadrant" concept in five of its house designs.

The quadrant is an outdoor space bound by, and sharing a roof with, the home’s kitchen, meals area, rumpus room and family room.

"Today’s decision has significant implications for the industry in terms of increased costs and is likely to usher in a far more conservative and cautious approach to design development and innovation," Metricon spokesman Gideon Kline said on Friday. "Metricon felt pursuing leave to appeal to the High Court was important for itself but also for the broader project building industry.

"These effects will flow through to the general public by harming innovation in new home design and housing affordability."

Justice John Gilmour will now rule on damages to be paid by Metricon.

Porter Davis managing director Anthony Roberts said he was relieved the matter was over and that Porter Davis had been vindicated.

He said Porter Davis’ designs have been conclusively recognised and protected.

Porter Davis had previously launched legal action against Carlisle Homes, which it claimed also used its "alfresco quadrant", and Dennis Family Homes.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property analyst and journalist, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco

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