Keurig is setting itself up to attempt a type of coffee “DRM” on the pods used in its coffee-making machines, according to a report from Techdirt. Keurig’s next-gen machines would be unable to interact with third-party coffee pods, thus locking customers into buying only the Keurig-branded K-cups or those of approved partners.
The single-cup coffee brewers made by Keurig (owned by Green Mountain Coffee) spurred a rush by coffee brands into the single-cup-pod trade. The K-Cup patent expired in 2012, and prior to that, Green Mountain bought up many of its competitors, including Tully’s Coffee Corporation and Timothy’s Coffees. Competitors continue to sell K-Cups, often at a 15- to 25 percent markdown from Green Mountain’s own pods, according to a lawsuit filed against Green Mountain by TreeHouse Foods.
Hey, you know what else is simple, more or less? The K-Cup brewing process itself. Coming up with a device that can duplicate Keurig’s brewing and uses a K-cup doesn’t sound impossibly difficult. It’s essentially ‘high-speed pushing hot water through pre-made grounds:” I’m mildly shocked that there aren’t knockoffs already…