June 24, 2010

French Authorities Seize Ethical Coffee Capsules in France

Knew this would start getting ugly..... Recall Ethical coffee, run by a former Nespresso exec, is putting out capsules that work in the Nespresso machine, but according to them do not actually infringe on the Nestle patents. Well apparently French authorities acted on the request of Nestle to seize capsules at the Ethical Coffee plant in a first step that has to be leading to a court ordered shut down or standoff over the subject.

I am sure Nestle is asserting that Ethical Coffee infringes on its patents, and of course Ethical Coffee believes that they do not infringe on these patents. We'll see how this shakes out, but there are a lot of billable lawyer hours in the future over this one.

Related to this, Nestle is also involved with Sara Lee over similar allegations of patent infringement.

More at Business Week

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Posted by Scott Martin at June 24, 2010 9:15 AM
Recent Comments

Right - French - Big miss, thanks for the note. Yes it is an odd approach and I would imagine that they would have gotten some through the trade and then sued. The only reason I can see is to demonstrate that in fact these capsules are coming from this plant.

This will continue on for sometime I am afraid.

Posted by: Scott Martin at June 26, 2010 9:53 PM

Iz was not the Swiss authorities that seized the caps. It was the French authorities that seized 50 caps alrady available in the trade anyway and already bought by nestlé..
This is a gross intimidating tactic used by Nestlé which based its request to the courts on patents related to coffee machines...The result is useless for Nestlé but rival Ethical Coffee Company with a hug jump in wwide awareness for free...
Some reporters believe it was about industrial spying where frech law art. 145 is often used...
Nestlé declined to comment on this move related to coffee machines but aimed at understanding some aspects of ECC's biodegradable capsules. A turning point missed by Nestlé.

Posted by: jpg at June 26, 2010 5:49 PM
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