It seems as though the complex case of architectural copyright has been a major talking point of 2014. As the year begins to draw to a close, a fresh tension has risen between two European offices. British practice Wilkinson Eyre have claimed that a central structure at the site of the 2015 Milan Expo is direct plagiarism of their Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay project in Singapore, completed in 2012. According to an article in The Telegraph, the 'Tree of Life' will "form the centre-piece of the Italian pavilion" in Milan.
Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre has stated that "it’s definitely derivative of the Gardens by the Bay concept. [...] You’d have expected them to have come up with something a bit more original." Marco Balich, architect of the yet to be built structure in question, said that the "ridiculous" accusation had "nothing to do with" Wilkinson Eyre's project. He said that "a tree is a tree, just like a skyscraper is a skyscraper – they are often similar, whether they are in New York or Shanghai. You can’t have copyright over the shape of a tree." Wilkinson Eyre do not intend on taking any legal action.
References: The Telegraph