Harlequin has been cleared by the courts in a case filed by three authors who claimed the publisher did not pay them all the royalties they were due on e-books covered under contracts signed between 1990 and 2004. The publisher sought to dismiss the case in October, and on Tuesday Federal District Judge Harold Baer, Jr., ruled in the Canadian house's favor.

The class action suit, Barbara Keiler v. Harlequin Enterprises Limited, the publisher said, in a release about the decision, was dropped after the plaintiffs "failed to state a claim." The authors claimed that they were owed a 50% royalty on net receipts of digital editions, and not 3% to 4% of the cover price. Harlequin countered that the authors were being given the correct royalty, as defined in their contracts.

Speaking to the decison, Harlequin CEO and publisher Donna Hayes said the company was "pleased" with the result. "Harlequin prides itself on being a place where over 1,200 authors find opportunities to publish. As the publishing industry evolves, we look forward to developing our author agreements further in ways that serve both of our interests."