Just a few days after Spring Design mentioned that it was discontinuing the current generation of Alex dual-screened e-book reader, TechCrunch reports that Spring Design has settled its lawsuit with Barnes & Noble over the Nook’s design similarities to the Alex. And it sounds like B&N pretty much got its way.

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 suit was dismissed with prejudice, which means it cannot be refiled. Meanwhile, Spring Design is going to discontinue the reader and focus on developing “next generation eReader products and services”.

Probably for the best that Spring Design got out of the kitchen; with prices falling to below $200 and beginning to approach $100, the e-reader market is starting to heat up to the point where smaller, lesser-known companies that can’t keep their own prices down just don’t have a chance.


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