Calif. – Barnes &
Noble’s much lauded e-reader, the Nook,
is not yet available, but it is already the subject of a lawsuit, filed Nov. 2
by Spring Design.
Spring Design plans a similar e-reader called Alex,
to be officially unveiled at International CES.
Spring Design filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for
Northern California in San Francisco,
citing a violation of intellectual property rights.
Eric Kmiec, Spring Design sales and marketing VP, said Spring
Design showed Barnes & Noble its Alex with the intention of collaborating
on an e-reader, and was surprised to learn that the bookseller had developed a
similar e-reader without notifying Spring Design.
“Our goal is to develop a strategic relationship with them … We’ve
been working with them for a couple of years.
The way to resolve this is working together to develop this market.”
Spring Design said it applied for a patent on its dual-screen
design that dynamically links an e-reader screen with a smaller color LCD
screen back in 2006 and that it is in the final stages of winning patent
approval. The Barnes & Noble Nook
has a similar design; both run on Google’s Android platform, and they offer 3G
and Wi-Fi wireless connectivity.
Spring Design expects to partner with publishers and bookstores
to sell the Alex and expects to announce at least one such collaboration at