E-Book Wars Heat Up for B&N

10:15 AM -- It's a bad day to work at Barnes and Noble.

First of all, according to tech blog Engadget, the US Patent and Trademark Office has just granted a patent to Amazon for e-readers that have both electronic paper and LCD displays -- of which Barnes and Noble's e-book reader, the Nook, is one.

This patent likely comes as a complete surprise to B&N, Engadget says, as Amazon wasn't required to publish its patent application.

Second, Borders, the No. 2 US bookstore chain after B&N, launched its e-book store today with 1.5 million titles, compared to Barnes and Noble's 1 million. (Amazon offers 620,000 books plus 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright titles.)

Borders is taking a more open approach to e-books than its competitors, offering them in several different formats, including ePub, PDF, and mobile, and selling several different e-book readers to read them on, including Sony Readers and the Kobo. According to Reuters, Borders plans to sell 10 different readers by the end of 2010.

Borders also launched e-reader applications for BlackBerry and Android today. It already offers apps for Apple's iPad and iPhone.

— Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Light Reading Cable

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