Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Nestle, Gilead, Frack, Starbucks: Intellectual Property

Nestle SA (NESN) lost a patent on one of its Nespresso single-serve coffee machines, the latest legal setback for one of its fastest-growing brands.
The European Patent Office revoked the patent, which covered the lower-cost Pixie brewer, in oral proceedings on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, according to Rainer Osterwalder, a Munich-based EPO spokesman. Nestec SA, the unit of Nestle that held the patent, can appeal the decision once the full minutes of the proceedings are released in a few weeks, he said.
Nestle, the world’s largest coffee maker, has said its Nespresso machines are protected by 1,700 patents, yet to date the company has been unable to stem the flow of less-expensive copycat capsules from rivals like D.E Master Blenders 1753 and Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ)
Last month, an EPO appeals board revoked another Nespresso patent, and in April the Vevey, Switzerland-based company lost a battle to block Dualit Ltd. from making capsules in Britain.
“We are disappointed by the decision,” which “fails to recognize the unique innovations inherent in the design of the Nespresso system,” Diane Duperret, a spokeswoman for the brand, said by e-mail. Nespresso will decide whether to appeal once the EPO publishes the ruling, she said.
As posted in Bloomberg by Victoria Slind.
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