Today, Amazon finally got a patent (number 7,748,634) for its first Kindle design. Beside pointing out the lack of efficiency of the US Patent and Trademark Office that needs 4 years to award a patent (and in many cases even longer), what is striking in the original patent application is the mention of a dual display system, one eInk, one LCD that Amazon did not implement, but the ideea was deemed worthy by, you guessed, Barnes and Noble with their beautiful Nook. And, as a side joke, we can’t help wonder if this is why Microsoft canned Courier ;).
Here is the relevant paragraph from the patent application:
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.
Now, whether Amazon would decide to sue B&N for the design and patent infringement is everyone’s guess, but B&N is also in a dispute with Spring Design over the design. Since both Amazon and Spring Design cannot claim dibs for the design at the same time, the whole situation is rather interesting and we’ll be happy to watch it unfold. If you want to read the whole patent, here is the link. Enjoy!