Barnes & Noble this morning announced that it has settled a lawsuit it was served by Spring Design back in November 2009 in connection to the latter’s Alex Reader (which, perhaps not so coincidentally, is in the process of being phased out).
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Spring Design will grant B&N a “non-exclusive, paid-up royalty free license” for the entire portfolio of the company’s patents and patent applications. Other terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
The settlement agreement announced today resolves all claims brought by Spring Design, which will be dismissed with prejudice.
The news comes a few months after Barnes & Noble failed to dismiss Spring Design’s lawsuit. Spring Design claimed the bookseller illegally copied its screen design for the nook electronic book reader, accusing the company of misappropriating trade secrets, breach of contract and unfair competition.
Alex is, or rather was, an e-reader device that combined two displays (an e-Ink display mainly for reading, and an LCD screen for browsing). One could view content on either of the screens and use a button to flip the display back and forth between the touch color screen and EPD screen.
In its complaint, Spring Design said it had shared the dual-display design of the device with Barnes & Noble when the companies held potential partnership talks back in 2009, prior to the launch of the nook. The company said Barnes & Noble later incorporated features of the Alex Reader into nook, breaching a nondisclosure agreement.
Spring Design on its website says it is discontinuing retail sales of the e-reader in order to focus its resources on developing “next generation eReader products and services” with ReadMate, the underlying technology used in the Alex Reader.
Spring Design, founded in 2006, makes e-reader devices and products to the e-book market, offering overall “Link Notes”, a content authoring and multi-media publishing tool as add on editions to original text. Spring Design is located in Cupertino, California with engineering offices in Taiwan and China. Spring Design pioneered its patent-pending dual screen design with Duet Navigatorâ„¢ capability in 2006, and has been working with major book stores, newspapers and publishers over the last two years, sharing the vision...
Barnes & Noble, Inc. is a bookseller. Its principal business is the sale of trade books (generally hardcover and paperback consumer titles, excluding educational textbooks and specialized religious titles), mass-market paperbacks (such as mystery, romance, science fiction and other fiction), children’s books, bargain books, magazines, gift, cafe products and services, music and movies direct to customers. As of January 31, 2009, the Company operated 778 bookstores and a Website. Of the 778 bookstores, 726 operate under the Barnes &...
The nook is an electronic book reader produced by Barnes & Noble and runs on the Android platform. The nook will compete with the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, and other readers. It is said to include Wi-Fi and AT&T 3G wireless connectivity, a six inch E Ink display, and a separate, smaller color touchscreen that serves as the primary input device. The device will also have a MicroSD slot for extra storage. The nook has a user replaceable battery...