Barnes & Noble — Victory in 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.