Following a legal battle that began in 2019, Marlon Blackwell Architects (MBA) reached a settlement with Memphis-based HBG Design and the developers of the Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, requiring that MBA receive design credit for its work on the building. The settlement concludes yet another chapter in a broader debate about the nature and limitations of intellectual property in architecture.
According to Mark Henry, an attorney who represented MBA, Saracen’s developers and HBG are now obligated to credit the building to “HBG Design, Inc., architect of record, derived from an original design by Marlon Blackwell Architects, P.A.”
Additional terms of the settlement—including whether any compensation was paid—are confidential, Henry told RECORD in an email. But he called the new language “consistent” with MBA’s claims in its 2019 lawsuit, which alleged that HBG and the casino’s developers appropriated MBA’s designs and failed to compensate the firm for years of work on the project.
“We are very, very happy to have this lawsuit fully resolved to MBA’s satisfaction,” Blackwell said in an emailed statement.
Further details about the dispute can be found in RECORD’s previous coverage here.