Mobile Content Bits: Starbucks; Nintendo 3DS; Clearwire/Sony Ericsson;

Starbucks: Did the mobile money industry just get a caffeine jolt? The coffee chain Starbucks (NSDQ: SBUX) is today debuting a feature in its mobile apps that lets users pay for their drinks using their smartphones. The app now has a function that generates a barcode — linked to a user’s Starbucks payments card — that the user can hold up to a scanner to pay for their coffee and muffins. What makes this better than just using a card or cash? Starbuck claims it’s an even quicker way of paying. The service is being rolled out across all 6,800 Starbucks-operted and 1,000 Target-operated stores in the U.S. (via Release)

Nintendo 3DS: The newest handheld gaming device from Nintendo, unveiled today at events in New York and Amsterdam, is the first to feature a 3D screen that does not require special glasses to view. The device also has a second touchscreen. Other specs are very similar to what you are seeing in a typical mobile handset today: including software that lets users play with “passers by” or via a WiFi connection; a gyro sensor; and a camera. The 3DS will go on sale in the U.S. on March 27, priced at $250. In Europe, where pricing has not yet been announced, the device will go on sale on March 25. (via Release)

Clearwire/Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson: The mobile phone handset maker, which is due to report its financial results tomorrow, has filed a suit against broadband wireless operator Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR), alleging that Clearwire’s sphere with swirl logo, pictured, is “confusingly similar” to Sony Ericsson’s own green sphere with swirl logo. This is the second time that Sony Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC) has been to court over this: in 2009 it brought a similar suit against Clearwire, concerning the same logo but in reverse colours (with the swirl in green). At the time, Clearwire stopped using that particular logo, but continued to use the clear-swirled sphere. Compare the logos for yourself below. (complaint via Engadget)