Spring Design | Date: 2015-09-01
Clothing namely, mens and womens shirts, blouses, skirts, pants, scarves, outerwear, namely, overcoats, coats, vests, parkas, raincoats, blazers, denim jackets, wool jackets, capes, leather coats, trench coats, fur coats, sherling coats and bomber jackets, hats, gloves, denim jeans, belts, bathing suits, fleece tops and t-shirts.
Spring Design | Date: 2016-04-05
News Article | March 2, 2011
Barnes & Noble this morning announced that it has settled a lawsuit it was served by Spring Design back in November 2009 in connection to the latter’s Alex Reader (which, perhaps not so coincidentally, is in the process of being phased out). Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Spring Design will grant B&N a “non-exclusive, paid-up royalty free license” for the entire portfolio of the company’s patents and patent applications. Other terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The settlement agreement announced today resolves all claims brought by Spring Design, which will be dismissed with prejudice. The news comes a few months after Barnes & Noble failed to dismiss Spring Design’s lawsuit. Spring Design claimed the bookseller illegally copied its screen design for the nook electronic book reader, accusing the company of misappropriating trade secrets, breach of contract and unfair competition. Alex is, or rather was, an e-reader device that combined two displays (an e-Ink display mainly for reading, and an LCD screen for browsing). One could view content on either of the screens and use a button to flip the display back and forth between the touch color screen and EPD screen. In its complaint, Spring Design said it had shared the dual-display design of the device with Barnes & Noble when the companies held potential partnership talks back in 2009, prior to the launch of the nook. The company said Barnes & Noble later incorporated features of the Alex Reader into nook, breaching a nondisclosure agreement. Spring Design on its website says it is discontinuing retail sales of the e-reader in order to focus its resources on developing “next generation eReader products and services” with ReadMate, the underlying technology used in the Alex Reader.
News Article | January 8, 2010
We had a chance to sit down with representatives from Skiff and Sprint to get a first-hand look at the new Skiff Reader, and came away suitably impressed. In an increasingly crowded eReader market, Skiff distinguishes itself by taking a more platform-oriented approach than a device-specific one. With a large, 11.5-inch form factor, the Skiff Reader is geared toward bringing newspapers and magazines to digital life more so than the primarily book-oriented approach of several of the other eReader devices out there (Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Spring Design Alex, for example). You'll still be able to download and read books from its content store (which at launch will include an undisclosed volume from a variety of publishers beyond Hearst), who is heavily involved in backing the Skiff project. Nevertheless, the Skiff project is primarily about bringing newspapers and magazines (and their advertisers) into the digital paper space. The Skiff Reader is merely the first such device in an expected lineup of devices that is by nature wide open and flexible. Skiff also showed off an early prototype of a color tablet-type device as well, and told us the company was eager and willing to be flexible with new device styles and form factors depending on how the market around digital content plays out and what consumers indicate they like. It also showed off a prototype of a color Skiff device about the same size as the first Skiff Reader, featuring a color E-Ink display. The company acknowledges the importance of getting color screens to market as quickly as possible, particularly for magazines, and, to some extent, newspapers that would greatly benefit from color imagery and eventually video playback on these type of devices as well. For even more platform rivalry, Skiff plans to launch a Palm webOS and a BlackBerry application at the same time as the reader. It acknowledges that the busy, on-the-go audience it hopes to attract is going to need to access their library from whatever device they have handy, whether it be a dedicated eReader, smartphone, tablet or other form factor that might emerge in the future. It has even announced a Reader Development Kit (RDK) in partnership with Marvell that would help third-party manufacturers build different types of devices that could talk to the Skiff platform. This flexible approach will serve Skiff well in its bid to play a part in pioneering the digital paper transition. In terms of the flagship device itself, The Skiff Reader looked quite impressive in the demo we saw. Screen refreshes were quick and responsive, layouts were clean and intuitive, and the user interface and navigation seemed intuitive and easy to use. Because it's a touchscreen (unlike the Kindle), a number of other control methods are opened up, including hand gestures. A simple swipe of the finger — iPhone users will already find this very familiar — can be used to turn pages. A "My Skiff" dashboard comprises your home screen when powering up the device, which adds a nice layer of "what's new at a glance" when starting a reading session. Pre-selected content can be downloaded overnight as you sleep, giving you a fresh slate of news to check in on every morning. As the exclusive partner, Sprint will be providing the 3G connectivity for the device. Going with a persistent connection will allow updates to publications to be pushed out in real-time — another forward-thinking approach as mainstream publishers grapple with increasing their ability to serve a public that's starting to take immediacy for granted. How frequently real-time updates roll out will depend greatly on how ready individual publishers are to gear up for incremental updates in an industry where the mentality is still largely deadline-driven. Unfortunately, we were unable to pry the juicier details about when the Skiff Reader will launch and at what cost, but they were able to tell us that "within the next few months we'll get much more specific." How do you think the Skiff Reader is stacking up against the other umpteen eReaders out or coming out over the next year?
News Article | January 6, 2010
The Alex e-reader is getting some content thanks to Google (NSDQ: GOOG). Just ahead of CES, parent company Spring Design has partnered with Google so that users of its device will be able to directly access more than one million public domain e-books via Google Books. Several other e-reader manufacturers boast similar agreements. Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), for instance, both offer access to Google’s public domain books via their respective e-book stores. Spring Design’s deal with Google, however, gives some heft to the company’s plans for the Alex. When Spring Design announced the Alex back in October, there was some speculation that Spring Design had rushed the announcement solely in order to protect its intellectual property — and wasn’t actually planning to bring the device to market. Soon afterwards, Spring Design sued Barnes & Noble, saying that Barnes & Noble had copied some of Alex’s features in the design of its own e-reader. Spring Design has said that it will begin to sell the Alex by the end of the year; the device’s “official debut” is expected at CES this week. Here’s the release.
News Article | January 8, 2010
We showed you Alex, the cool dual-screen e-book reader from Spring Designs. Alex looks like a good reader with that large second color touchscreen. Content is king in the e-book world and the Borders bookstore has been signed up to supply content for the Alex. “Our agreement with Spring Design represents another step in our digital strategy, which continues to focus on offering book lovers-including our more than 35 million Borders Rewards loyalty program members-high quality content on the device of their choosing,” said Borders Group Chief Executive Officer Ron Marshall. “We look forward to bringing a world class eBook experience to Alex users.” Alex will go on sale February 22nd for $359 from the Spring Designs online store.
News Article | February 27, 2010
Verizon’s latest entry in the Android space, the Motorola Devour, which is already being referred to as the Baby Droid due to its similar appearance to Verizon’s first Android phone, went on sale this week. The Devour is smaller than the Droid, and retains the sliding QWERTY keyboard for text entry. It has a smooth metal finish, and most notably, ships with the MotoBlur application first seen on the Motorola Cliq. MotoBlur is Motorola’s social network aggregator, where users can see all of their contacts’ status updates on one screen. The Devour retails for $49.99 with a two-year contract. Also this week, the Slacker music streaming service got better for both Android and BlackBerry devices with the addition of wireless music caching. Slacker is a music streaming service that uses technology to determine what kind of music you like, which it then streams to your phone over either Wi-Fi or a 3G data connection. Using it, music can now be cached on the handset, stored for playback whenever desired. The Slacker service costs $4.99 per month. In the meantime, the Android-based e-book reader from Spring Design, aka the Alex, was scheduled to appear this week but was instead delayed until March. The Alex sports two screens: a large e-Ink screen for reading books and a smaller, color touchscreen for controlling the device. We were impressed with a hands-on demonstration of the Alex we saw at the CES in January. Alex owners will be able to use e-book content from bookseller Borders as part of the sales agreement signed by the two companies in January.
News Article | March 2, 2011
Spring Design, which manufactures the Alex Reader, sued Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) back in 2009, saying the book seller had taken many of the ideas in Alex Reader and incorporated them into its own Nook product. It claimed that Barnes & Noble had violated trade secret and unfair competition laws, as well as violating Spring Design’s patent rights. The case has now been settled on undisclosed terms. Barnes & Noble’s Nook, which first shipped in October 2009, was the first e-reader to ship with two screens. The Alex Reader didn’t get onto the market until spring 2010, and is now being phased out. Whatever the merits of Spring Design’s lawsuit, there’s no question that the Alex Reader’s price point was simply unsustainable in the e-reader market. For the 2010 holiday season, the Alex Reader went on sale for $349, at a time when entry-level Nooks and Kindles were being sold for $139. Even though financial terms of the settlement with Spring Design weren’t disclosed, Barnes & Noble did get a license to all of Spring Design’s patents. Which raises the question of where Spring Design goes from here-in particular, whether the company will find more alleged patent violations among Barnes & Noble’s competitors in the e-reader market. Spring says only that it’s focused “on developing next generation eReader products and services.”
News Article | April 18, 2011
Spring Design’s story so far has been less about its dual-screen ereader and more about a lawsuit against Barnes & Noble. That’s sad. No one wants to go down as a lawsuit troll. B&N eventually agreed to license Spring Design’s patents and the world went on. Today, the company announced that it was awarded another patent, this one dealing specifically with programming between complementary dual displays. The patent titled “Application Programming Interface for Providing Native and Non-Native Display Utility” seems a lot like what the company used in its Alex e-reader. Methods for controlling complementary dual displays for use with an electronic device are presented including: receiving an input for display on a non-native display, where the input includes a native user interface (UI) input and a non-native UI input, and where the non-native display is a bistable, low frame rate display; if the input is the native UI input, sending the first native UI input to a corresponding application, processing the native UI input by the corresponding application, calling a non-native API for forwarding the processed native UI input to a non-native display driver, and sending a non-native display signal to the non-native display; receiving another native UI input for display on a native display, where the native display is a refresh-based, high frame rate display; and sending the other native UI input to the corresponding application. This new patent is part of the firm’s ReadMate technology that’s available for licensing. The dual screens allow for novel control schemes and device such as the Alex or Nook. One screen allows for navigation through a conventional screen while it controls what the patent calls a “bistable, low frame rate display” — like an e-ink screen. If nothing else this patent speaks loud and clear that Spring Design is alive, well, and making it just fine without the Alex.