Nestle Sues Sara Lee Over Single Serve Coffee Makers

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Nespresso Single Serve Espresso MakerThe world’s biggest foodmaker, Nestle said it began legal action against Sara Lee Corp. in France for alleged patent violations on its Nespresso single serve espresso coffee making system. The Swiss company said it was acting “to defend our intellectual property rights.”

Sara Lee started selling L’OR Espresso capsules that are compatible with Nespresso single serve espresso coffee machines in French stores in April. The Downers Grove, Illinois-based company is “confident our product complies with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements,” said a spokesman for Sara Lee.

Single Serve Coffee At A High Cost

“Sara Lee and the others are now trying to piggyback the system that Nestle has taken decades to establish with the associated high investment costs,” said James Amoroso, a food- industry consultant based in Walchwil, Switzerland.

Nestle first sold single serve espresso for machines that don’t need cleaning 24 years ago. The Swiss company cultivates an exclusive image for Nespresso through boutiques that boast tasting salons in locations such as Paris’s Champs-Elysees and via a magazine sent to the homes of some of its 7 million Nespresso Club members twice a year.

Sara Lee has sold 12 million coffee capsules since it introduced the product in France two months ago, Duran said. “We see no reason why Nespresso would take legal action against us and are confident about the outcome of the proceedings.”

“Due to ongoing legal proceedings, we are unable to make any further comment at this stage,” Nestle said in a statement.

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Tags: Companies, Espresso, Nestle, Sara Lee, Single Cup Coffee Maker

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