UAE new landmark brings back yearlong intellectual property dispute

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-17 12:21:40|Editor: Xiang Bo
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DUBAI, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- A new observation tower named the "Dubai Frame" officially opened on Jan. 1, attracting global visitors while jogging people's memory about an intellectual property lawsuit filed by a Mexican-born architect in 2016.

Possibly the biggest picture frame on the planet, the building caused controversy as Fernando Donis claimed the idea was stolen from him and accused the Dubai municipality of infringing his copyright.

The 150-meter-tall and 93-meter-long Dubai Frame is located in Dubai's Zabeel Park. The hollow frame is designed as a "virtual boundary" between the old Dubai in the north and the newer city in the south.

After learning the city's growth in a museum built at the base of the landmark, people could enjoy different city views on the top glass-bottomed bridge. They could also do this when taking the elevators.

The design was the result of a worldwide architecture competition held in 2009. Selected as the ultimate design from over 900 proposals, the frame idea however materialized sans its creator.

Fernando Donis claimed that after the competition he has received a contract from the Dubai municipality, which demanded the architect to hand over his intellectual property and limit several other rights.

Donis refused to sign the contract and the project just went ahead with the hiring of other companies.

The architect filed suit in a U.S. court in December of 2016 against the Dubai municipality and one of the organizers of the 2009 competition.

"The UAE puts itself out there as a country that respects intellectual property, yet it will blatantly infringe copyright," Edward Klaris, lawyer who represented Donis was quoted by the Guardian.

According to Klaris, their winning of the case would be hard as the Dubai municipality gives itself "sovereign immunity against any lawsuit."