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Duplication of others work.

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My office just received a tip from several sources (governmental and
industry) that my office's standard details and notes are all being used
by another Structural Engineer and contractor in almost exact duplicate
form.  When I spend countless hours fine tuning my unique presentation,
details and notes to make construction go smoothly, it irks me to see
others take advantage of my work using a simple Xerox machine.

I know "imitation is the best form of flattery" but I'm not flattered. 
Has anyone else run into such a problem?  This is similar to the "tract
housing" thread earlier this year on this list server. What suggestions
does anyone have?  The plans were not copyrighted with a direct
statement.  Is there a commonlaw copyright implied?

BTW: An explicit copyright is now going to be on the plans, etc.


John Lawson SE
Kramer & Associates Structural Engineers, Inc.