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Kobo sues Borders, strikes European deal

It’s been a busy week for Canadian e-reading company Kobo. On Tuesday, representatives for Kobo filed documents at a bankruptcy court in New York to ensure that Kobo licenses held by Borders are not put up for sale when the failed U.S. bookstore chain starts liquidating its intellectual property assets. PaidContent.org reports:

Kobo … wants to prevent whoever wins the auction from obtaining the customer data. The company may also be worried because the licenses are likely to contain an exclusivity clause that prevents Kobo from partnering with another seller. … In its filing, Kobo says the licenses are invalid because Borders did not hold up its end of the bargain. The Toronto-based company also says it is illegal under Canadian privacy law to transfer customer data.

Borders was an early partner with Kobo, at one time owning an 11 per cent stake in the e-reading company, which is backed by Indigo Books & Music and the beleaguered REDgroup Retail, among others.

Then, on Wednesday, Kobo announced a new deal with the German store of online retailer Redcoon that will finally introduce the company’s Kobo eReader Touch Edition to the European market (it was originally set to release in Germany in August). The Kobo Touch will be available in October at a price of €149.

According to a press release from Kobo:

Redcoon is one of the largest online retailers for consumer electronics in Europe, serving consumers in Germany as well Austria, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Denmark and France “ in this market segment, the online retailer is seen as a major competitor to Amazon.com in Europe.
The retail partnership with Redcoon starts in Germany, but is going beyond this market, [explains Kobo EU director of sales Thorsten Schröer]. As Kobo expands to additional European countries later this year, Redcoon will offer our products there as well. Additional leading retail partners will be announced shortly.