Barnes & Noble — Victory in New York

Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Type of Engagement
IP Litigation - Defense
Subject Matter
Copyright Act
Lanham Act
Second Circuit
Southern District of New York

The Challenge

A self-published author filed a baseless hold-up suit against Barnes & Noble seeking damages for distribution of free samples of his unsuccessful e-book through Barnes & Noble’s cloud-based system. We were retained to implement and execute an efficient defense strategy in federal court.

The Engagement

We filed targeted motions and used focused discovery to frame the issues. This approach paid dividends. Our motion to dismiss resulted in the dismissal of a co-plaintiff that the author had added in an early amended complaint. Our early summary judgment motion secured dismissal of the author’s unfair competition claim. And our renewed summary judgment motion and opposition to plaintiff’s cross-motion resulted in dismissal of the remaining copyright claims.

The plaintiff then appealed to the Second Circuit. We submitted briefing and Elizabeth Brannen presented oral argument. In a unanimous opinion, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment.

The Result

We efficiently obtained a complete victory for Barnes & Noble in the trial court and on appeal.

“Liz and her partners at Stris & Maher approach IP litigation with a sophisticated understanding of our business and strategic goals. They implement smartly and effectively. I highly recommend them.” Brad Feuer, Vice President & General Counsel, Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Key Case Materials

Second Circuit

Opinion (October 6, 2016)

Oral Argument Audio (May 20, 2016)

Our Brief (February 8, 2016)


District Court

Order Granting Renewed Motion (November 2, 2015)

Renewed Summary Judgment Motion (May 11, 2015)

Order Partially Granting Motion (September 23, 2014)

Summary Judgment Motion (October 31, 2013)

Order Partially Granting Motion (July 19, 2013)

Motion to Dismiss (October 3, 2012)

Media Coverage

2nd Circ. Dodges 'Novel' Cloud Storage Copyright Questions (Law360, October 6, 2016) (subscription required)

New York Federal Judge Sides With Barnes & Noble In E-Book Copyright Case (Lexis Legal News, November 11, 2015) (subscription required)

Barnes & Noble Beats IP Suit Over Cloud-Stored E-Books (Law360, November 2, 2015) (subscription required)

B&N Says Book Sample Downloads Don’t Infringe Copyright (Law360, November 1, 2013) (subscription required)