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Salinger v. Colting - 607 F.3d 68 (2d Cir. 2010)

Rule:

According to well-established principles of equity, a plaintiff seeking a permanent injunction must satisfy a four-factor test before a court may grant such relief. A plaintiff must demonstrate: (1) that it has suffered an irreparable injury; (2) that remedies available at law, such as monetary damages, are inadequate to compensate for that injury; (3) that, considering the balance of hardships between the plaintiff and the defendant, a remedy in equity is warranted; and (4) that the public interest would not be disserved by a permanent injunction.

Facts:

Plaintiff-Appellee J.D. Salinger (now represented by trustees of the J.D. Salinger Literary Trust) brought suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Defendants-Appellants Fredrik Colting, Windupbird Publishing, Ltd., Nicotext A.B., and ABP Inc. claiming copyright infringement and unfair competition. Salinger alleged that Colting's novel "60 Years Later Coming Through the Rye" is derivative of Salinger's novel "The Catcher in the Rye". The District Court granted Salinger's motion for a preliminary injunction; Defendants appeal. 

Issue:

Does the four-factor test in eBay, Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., 547 U.S. 388, 126 S. Ct. 1837, 164 L. Ed. 2d 641 (2006) apply with equal force to preliminary injunctions issued on the basis of alleged copyright infringement?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Supreme Court's decision in eBay, Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., 547 U.S. 388, 126 S. Ct. 1837, 164 L. Ed. 2d 641 (2006), which articulated a four-factor test as to when an injunction may issue, applies with equal force to preliminary injunctions issued on the basis of alleged copyright infringement. Therefore, although the Second Circuit concluded that the District Court properly determined that Salinger has a likelihood of success on the merits, it vacated the district court's order and remanded the case to the district court to apply the eBay standard.

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