Feeds

Barnes & Noble nobbled for 'nicking' Nook-e Reader notion

Sued for 'stealing idea' from business partner

The Power of One Infographic

Spring Design is suing Barnes & Noble for allegedly stealing its e-book reader designs.

The Cupertino-based company announced its own dual-screen viewer, the Alex, in October, but claims that since the beginning of the year it's been in conversation with Barnes & Noble under a mutual non-disclosure agreement, during which time, it claims, the publisher nicked the design for its own Nook product.

Nook and Alex

Spot the difference, the Nook is the one on the left

Spring Design claims it had "meetings, emails and conference calls with executives ranging up to the president of BarnesandNoble.com, discussing confidential information regarding the features, functionality and capabilities of Alex", throughout which "marketing and technical executives extolled Alex’s 'innovative' features, never mentioning their use of those features until the public disclosure of the Nook".

Spring isn't the only e-book reader manufacturer with whose affections Barnes & Noble have apparently been toying: Plastic Logic announced it would be putting its QUE reader into Barnes & Noble shops a while back, and denied all knowledge when the first rumours of the Nook's colour capabilities were circulated, so clearly had no knowledge that its partner was planning to become its competition.

It seems likely that all the readers will support EPub, along with Adobe's Digital Editions DRM, so it's possible for Barnes & Noble to support them all with content, and the chain has enough shelf space to accommodate a range of readers. But it seems it may fall to the courts to decide who came up with the idea of a dual-screen-Android-based e-book reader first. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.