Start-up sues over Nook

Posted by Nigel Constantine

A small start-up has picked on the might of number two book king Barnes and Noble claiming that the bookseller misappropriated trade secrets in creating the Nook e-reader.

Spring Design said it had a nondisclosure agreement with Barnes & Noble and had been discussing its e-reader plans with the bookseller since early this year.

Spring Design had been developing an ebook reader called the Alex.  It had many meetings, emails and conference calls with executives ranging up to the president of BarnesandNoble.com.

Apparently the book outfit liked some of Alex's 'innovative' features and used them in the Nook. The press release from Spring Design did not say in what court the suit was filed, or mention what damages were being sought.

Apparently the Alex ebook reader appeared just just days before Barnes & Noble formally unveiled the Nook. Both e-readers use the Android operating system and combine an e-ink screen with a color touch screen.