While you are enjoying your office coffee maker and the wonderful assortment of varieties and flavors that help to get you out of your daily morning funk you may be staring right at one of the most significant IP cases of the past few years. Keurig, a company specializing in coffee makers and their associated accessories lost a very significant case last year that really damaged their bottom line. Their business plan was to sell countertop single serve coffee makers and the brewing pod accessories. While they did an excellent job of protecting their coffee maker they failed to adequately protect their associated coffee pods. In case you have been living under a rock the pods are those containers that you put into the single serve coffee machine that contain the actual coffee. Considering that their business plan was to make money off of the pods and take a calculated loss on the machine this mistake was extremely costly and damaging to the bottom line of this relatively innovative product. Why did I say this case was so important? Because it reminds us that not understanding what is important to the client’s bottom line can often be critical to drafting and emphasising the right things in a patent application. In this day of fast moving IP law and cases about software companies and webaccess that simple fact is all too often overlooked. Fortunately for Keurig it looks like at least so far that they have been able to survive the competition in the coffee pod market against cheaper suppliers.

For more information on the Keurig case see:

Keurig Loses Coffee Pod Patent Infringement Case

Design Patent Case Digest: Keurig v. JBR

Have Keurig Green Mountain Shorts Been Proved Wrong?

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