Lawsuit between Google, authors in U.S. suspended pending appeal

NEW YORK Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:44pm EDT

Attendees sits in front of a Google logo during Google I/O Conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, California June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Attendees sits in front of a Google logo during Google I/O Conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, California June 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stephen Lam

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - An appeals court judge on Monday suspended trial court litigation involving Google Inc and thousands of authors pending appeal by the search engine giant of an order granting the authors class-action status.

A one-sentence order by a 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge in New York said the Authors Guild, which sued Google seven years ago over the company's plans to create the world's largest digital books library, consented to the suspension.

In a case where billions of dollars are at stake, the appeals court has given Google permission to challenge a May 31 decision by a judge letting authors sue as a group rather than individually. The appeals court has not yet scheduled oral arguments for the appeal.

In March 2001, Judge Denny Chin rejected a $125 million settlement of the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, saying it gave Google too much power to copy books en masse without permission from authors.

The cases are Authors Guild et al v Google Inc in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 05-08136 and in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-2402.

(Reporting By Grant McCool; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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