On Monday, Spring Design, the e-reader maker, sued Barnes & Noble, in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, claiming that the largest book retailer in the United States, stole trade secrets of Alex e-reader unveiled on October 19 and used them in the recently introduced Nook on October 20.
"We showed the Alex e-book design to Barnes & Noble in good faith with the intention of working together to provide a superior dual screen e-book to the market", said Eric Kmiec, vice president of sales and marketing with Spring Design.
It claims that the dealer used features from the Alex that they discussed in meetings, conference calls, and e-mails starting early this year.
Arranging to expose the Alex-e-book, Spring Design said it was in discussion with the potential partners, but did not say when the Alex would be available. Consequently, it showed the Alex e-reader design to BN and signed a non disclosure agreement in February, 2009. Thereafter, BN launched a Nook which "was a complete surprise to Spring".
Throughout the allegation annotations, B&N remained unvoiced with the matter stating, that the company does not comment on litigation.
Consequently, with an appeal to stop the further production of Nook, Spring Design accuses Barnes & Noble for violating the agreement rules.