Nook: Barnes & Noble avoid legal issues through use of a licence
March 03rd, 2011 - 03:11 pm ET by C. D.
As expected, book retailer Barnes & Noble has preferred to pay a licensing fee to Spring Design relating to their Nook eBook reader rather than undertake a legal defence.
In October 2009, the book retailer announced Nook, an electronic eBook reader operating Android and with a 6" e-paper display for reading and 3.5" LCD display to add colour and interactivity to the interface.
The aim was to offer an attractive alternative to compete with the Amazon Kindle, while gaining a position in the eBook market, thanks to their previously launched download portal listing hundreds of thousands of titles.
A problem was encountered though as at the same time as the start-up Spring Design unveiled the Alex, an eBook reader concept with a double e-paper/LCD screen, with the company accusing Barnes & Noble of having stolen their ideas during the presentation of their tablet.
Law suit dropped in favour of a licensing agreement The book retailer refused to use Spring Design’s product, and instead came up with ideas about creating their own tablet… without asking the young company their opinion. A law suit was consequently filed in November 2009.
Despite denials from the book retailer, a preliminary legal decision has confirmed that Barnes & Noble and Spring Design have a lot of similar points based on the Alex concept and Nook reader, with the court deciding that the start up’s claims had merit.
Feeling that a legal challenge may be around the corner, with numerous elements going against them, Barnes & Noble have finally agreed to pay a licensing fee for all patents held by Spring Design in exchange for no future legal action. The settlement amount has not been revealed.