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2nd Cir News: Google's Fair Use, Judge Scheindlin and Mr. Charbucks

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD | Last updated on

Oh, why can't all the circuits be like the Second Circuit? We're never at a loss for interesting cases coming out of the Second (yeah, we're looking at you Tenth Circuit).

There were just too many interesting things happening in the Second Circuit last week so here's a roundup of some of our favorites.

Starbucks and Mister Charbucks

Starbucks sued defendant for its use of "Mister Charbucks" and "Charbucks Blend" alleging violations of the Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006, and seeking injunctive relief. The case has a storied past, including two remands from the Second Circuit.

The third time was a charm -- for Mister Charbucks, that is. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of Starbucks' request for an injunction. Finding that the district court did not err, the Second Circuit agreed with the district court that Starbucks did not prove a likelihood of dilution.

More Stop & Frisk Drama

Following the bench-slap that came out of nowhere when the Second Circuit removed Judge Scheindlin, sua sponte, the Second Circuit now is back-pedaling a bit by issuing an 87-page opinion explaining the reasons it ordered Judge Scheindlin off the case. However, the court "doth protest too much, methinks."

The Second Circuit wanted to make one thing clear, finding that Judge Scheindlin acted impartially, they also "emphasize at the outset that we make no findings of misconduct, actual bias, or actual partiality on the part of Judge Scheindlin." That said, on the same day, they also denied "Judge Scheindlin's motion to appear in Court in support of retaining authority over these cases." No word yet on whether the Second Circuit will grant the City's motion to vacate Judge Scheindlin's opinion.

Google's Fair Use

Last week, District Judge Denny Chin, of the Southern District of New York, rejected The Authors Guild's challenge to Google's scanning and digitizing millions of books, and presenting portions of copyrighted works in Google search results.

Almost ten years in the making, the suit was filed in 2005, the district court granted Google's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case. Judge Chin held that Google's practices are protected as "fair use." Not surprisingly, The Authors Guild already has plans for an appeal in the works.

These cases make for exciting times in the Second Circuit -- and it's not over. We still have yet to see if the Second Circuit will grant the City's motion to vacate Judge Scheindlin's Floyd decision, and what the Second Circuit will decide on appeal in the Google case. We'll keep you posted.

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