Spring Design, the company currently suing the pants off Barnes & Noble for the latter allegedly pinching their ebook reader design, has been dealt a blow by the US courts.

Spring Design had requested an injunction to stop Barnes & Noble from selling its Nook ebook reader, which Spring Design claims is a rip-off of their somewhat hastily announced Alex design.

It's not all bad for Spring Design though, as although Barnes & Noble can continue Nook sales full steam ahead, the court has agreed to an expedited pre-trial process to accommodate for an earlier hearing date, reports Engadget.

The Nook is reported to be selling well in the States with what's said to have been pre-orders "surpassing expectations" and delivery dates for new orders now being quoted as 11 January, bad news for disorganised Christmas shoppers.