The Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to the author of the "The Da Vinci Code," refusing to consider a case alleging copyright infringement.
Author Lewis Perdue contended that Dan Brown's megathriller is substantially similar to his book, written years before the 2003 publication of "The Da Vinci Code."
Some 60.5 million copies of "The Da Vinci Code" are in print worldwide.
Perdue argued that affidavits detailing similarities between his book, "Daughter of God," and Brown's book should have been considered by a federal judge, who rejected them. The judge ruled that no reasonable juror could find parts of Perdue's work substantially similar to "The Da Vinci Code." An appeals court upheld the ruling.
"The two lower courts had agreed that the challenge to Brown's work was insufficient so there is no great surprise here that the justices would agree to let the matter rest," CBS News legal consultant Andrew Cohen said.
"I would have been shocked had the Supreme Court taken the case, which never really raised any important or new copyright issues," Cohen said.
In one of the rejected affidavits, a literary expert found the evidence of infringement overwhelming. In another affidavit, a foreign linguistics expert found the similarities to be "striking."
Perdue had alleged that Brown copied the basic premise of "Daughter of God," including notions that history is controlled by victors, not losers, and the importance of the Roman Emperor Constantine in requiring a transition from a female to a male-dominated religion, the judge said.
Brown and Random House Inc. had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan seeking a declaratory judgment that his work does not infringe on Perdue's.
In a countersuit, Perdue asked the judge to rule that there was infringement and award $150 million in damages.
The case is Perdue v. Brown and Random House Inc., 06-213.
In other action Monday, the Supreme Court: