Spring Design Says to Barnes & Noble's Nook E-Reader: "You've Got Our Chocolate in Your Peanut Butter!"
Reuters is reporting that Silicon Valley start-up company Spring Design has sued Barnes & Noble and the lawsuit asserts Barnes & Noble misappropriated trade secrets and violated the parties' non-disclosure agreement when it copied Alex's features into its recently announced Nook e-book.
"Spring Design unfortunately had to take the appropriate action to protect itsintellectual property rights," said Spring Design Vice President of Sales andMarketing, Eric Kmiec. "We showed the Alex e-book design to Barnes & Noble ingood faith with the intention of working together to provide a superior dualscreen e-book to the market."
Spring Design first developed and began filing patents on its Alex e-book, aninnovative dual screen, Android-based e-book back in 2006. Since the beginningof 2009 Spring and Barnes & Noble worked within a non-disclosure agreement,including many meetings, emails and conference calls with executives ranging up to the president of Barnes and Noble.com, discussing confidential information regarding the features, functionality and capabilities of Alex. Barnes & Noble's Nook, which will compete with Amazon's Kindle, is due to go on sale later this month for $259.
Throughout, Barnes & Noble`s marketing and technical executives extolled Alex`s "innovative"features, never mentioning their use of those features until the public disclosure of the Nook. Alex, with its unique Duet Navigator, provides the capability for interactionand navigation techniques of the two screens and furthermore utilizes the capabilities of Android to enhance the reader`s experience by supporting interactive access to the Internet for references and links. As the first in the market to offer an e-book with full Internet browsing while reading and with easy navigational control via its touch screen, Alex is well-positioned to offer the most dynamic and powerful reading device in the market.
We'll keep an eye on this one for you.