Amazon.com has been given a patent for a dual-screen e-reader. Given that the Barnes & Noble Nook is a dual-display e-reader, this could mean that the two companies may get into some sort of conflict. Amazon.com filed the patent in 2006 and Amazon.com agreed not to file any corresponding foreign patents during this four year patent process. This is what the patent covers:
“A handheld electronic device comprising: a housing; an electronic paper display disposed in the housing and having a first surface area; and a liquid crystal display (LCD) disposed in the housing proximate the electronic paper display, the LCD having a second surface area that is smaller than the first surface area of the electronic paper display.”
The Nook looks exactly what the patent describes. This patent also implies that Amazon.com may be interested in building a device that looks similar to the Nook.
Barnes & Noble is also dealing with a trade secret dispute over the Nook with Spring Design. Spring Design claims that B&N saw the Alex reader under an NDA and copied the idea for the Nook.