B&N, Spring Design settle lawsuit

Barnes and Noble were probably hoping everyone was distracted by the iPad 2 frenzy when they issued a press release today. This lawsuit was filed back in 2009. The original complaint was made by Spring Design, and they claimed that Borders had copied some of SD's intellectual property. The settlement doesn't really make much sense, if you ask me. The only part of the settlement that has been released is that B&N get to use all of Spring Design's patents. Also, the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, which means it can't be retried. From the press release:

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS - News), the world’s largest bookseller, today announced that it has settled a lawsuit brought against the Company by Spring Design, Inc. Spring Design initiated legal action against Barnes & Noble in November 2009, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, in connection with Spring Design’s Alex eReader.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Spring Design will grant Barnes & Noble a non-exclusive, paid-up royalty free license for the entire portfolio of Spring Design patents and patent applications. The terms of the settlement are otherwise confidential. The settlement agreement announced today resolves all claims brought by Spring Design, which will be dismissed with prejudice.

Eugene V. DeFelice, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Barnes & Noble, Inc., said, “We are pleased to put this matter behind us. NOOK ColorTM and NOOKTM, together with Spring Design’s patents and patent applications, have become two of our most innovative and highly-sought after devices. Barnes & Noble is pleased to add Spring Design’s patents and patent applications as a complementary addition to our rapidly growing digital portfolio.”

About Nate Hoffelder (11481 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

6 Comments on B&N, Spring Design settle lawsuit

  1. Basically B&N pays Spring Design to go away and withdraw the lawsuit. Considering the Alex is dead and buried all the remains is for SD to sell off its patent portfolio and sail of into the sunset.

    • Then how did B&N get a license to the IP portfolio? I’d think it would go the other way.

      • That’s the point of buying them off.
        SD clearly had enough of a case to be paid off but they just as clearly didn’t have the money to fight it to the end. So they took whatever bone B&N threw them.
        It’s not as if B&N has enough cash to fight it out themselves; so they pay *something* (might’ve been five bucks plus legal costs) for non-exclusive rights to the ip so that if SD sells that nobody else comes knocking and everybody goes to bed declaring victory.

        • They also could be cash strapped and this gives them a quick revenue. With the competition out there, they probably would never release an Alex 2 so this way they get some money for all their hard work. I am betting it was not 5 dollars but it probably was a good bargain for BnN.

  2. Takahiro Fujiwara // 3 March, 2011 at 9:55 am // Reply

    Hi. I am wondering that I think following patent is the winner, isn’t it?


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