Barnes & Noble’s e-book reader, cutely named the Nook, is now the target of a lawsuit (.pdf) alleging trade-secret theft, filed by a small Fremont company called Spring Design Inc. Interestingly, Spring Design has hired Fenwick & West’s Lynn Pasahow, the very same lawyer who does most of the IP work for Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble’s primary competitor. Seems like Amazon would be pleased with a lawsuit that kindles a little trouble for the newly unveiled Nook, right?
Legal Pad caught up with Fenwick partner David Hadden, who’s working with Pasahow on the case, and he said that Amazon had absolutely nothing to do with the lawsuit. It’s not funding it; Spring Source is paying for its own lawyers — and not on contingency fee. It’s just coincidence, he said. Pasahow and Hadden have battled Barnes & Noble when they sued the book company with Amazon.com’s questionable one-click patent.
Hadden said that Spring Design shared its plans for an e-book reader with Barnes & Noble. It was surprised when the Nook came out with all the same features, including the famous interactive dual screen design that has given the Nook an edge on Amazon’s much-hyped e-book gizmo, Hadden said.
— Zusha Elinson