The company Nestec (pertaining to the world’s most famous food company Nestlé) has lost the patent infringement action filed in the United Kingdom against Dualit Ltd a small British manufacturer of coffee pods, brought on for commercializing coffee capsules for refilling Nespresso coffee machines.
Nestec’s patent claiming protection for the coffee capsules expired in the UK on 2011, reason why the infringement action had to be filed based on a later patent right duly in force. However this right only protects the dispensing capsule device which includes the coffee capsule, thus forcing Nestec to allege an indirect patent infringement.
Under these circumstances the Court has ruled that there are not sufficient elements to assess such infringement. According to the Judge, the text of the patent sought to keep the monopoly in the trade of coffee capsules whereas the patent under which they were protected has already expired. This decision is an open-door for all manufacturers and distributors of coffee capsules compatible with the Nespresso machine.