18 March 2022TrademarksAlex Baldwin

Nespresso says Peet’s Coffee infringes its coffee pod IP

Nespresso has sued rival Peet’s Coffee, alleging that the Californian company infringes its trademarked coffee capsules.

In a complaint filed to the US District Court for the Southern District of Manhattan on Thursday, March 17, accusing Peet’s Coffee of attempting to pass off its “nearly identical” coffee capsules as being associated with Nespresso.

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Nespresso claims to have “worked tirelessly” for nearly four years to resolve its dispute with Peet’s but claimed it was “undeterred” and continued to infringe Nespresso’s coffee capsule design.

Nespresso reiterated that it had no qualms with third-party coffee capsules for use in its coffee machines, but took issue with “false affiliation with, endorsement by, sponsorship by, or license relationship with, Nespresso for economic gain”.

The coffee maker submitted comparisons (see figure 1) of its original capsule design and Peet’s design, noting that each element of its original trade dress was copied. Specifically, Nespresso noted the similarities between the two capsules' frustoconical top portion, opaque colour, and top indentation.

Figure 1: Evidence submitted by Nespresso

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