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Spring Design Inc lawsuit against Barnes and Nobles, Nov 2009
From WikileaksReleased November 6, 2009
The document is a lawsuit from the startup Spring against the major online bookstore Barnes & Noble. B&N allegedly stole the concept and design of an electronic book reader from Spring. The Spring device is called Alex, the Barnes & Noble device is called Nook.
The comparison of features between the two devices is outlined in this lawsuit and shows strong similarities. If proven, the story is a textbook example why a NDA does not protect a startup, if a large company decides to steal intellectual property from it.The remarkably short timeframe between the transfer of information under NDA (17. February) from Spring Design to B&N to the release of the Nook by B&N (30. October), which is a remarkably short timeframe for the development of such a complex hardware product. It is however possible, that B&N just modified an already running similar e-book project (probably under way at an OEM manufacturing company) to match the ideas of Spring.
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