Article | 20/10/14 | Grégoire Desrousseaux
Ethical Coffee Company (ECC) supplies biodegradable capsules that are compatible with Nespresso machines. The market of the Nespresso machine-compatible pods currently represents more than €200 million in the large retail distribution sector. Initiated 4 years ago by the Nestlé group, legal proceedings against ECC are coming to an end: the Paris Court of First Instance has revoked the second patent on the so-called “piggy-bank-like insertion of capsules”, as requested by ECC.
Nespresso and Nestec sued ECC before the French courts for infringement of two European patents.
ECC, represented by Renaud Fulconis, Industrial Property counsel, and Grégoire Desrousseaux, partner at August & Debouzy, first obtained the revocation of one of the two patents asserted by Nespresso at the European Patent Office (EPO), in opposition proceedings involving five opponents.
This decision was handed down on October 10, 2013 by the Board of Appeal of the EPO in Munich. The EPO, which had upheld the patent at first instance, reversed its decision and revoked the European patent: thus, the patent is deemed to have never been in force.
On October 3, 2014, the Paris Court of First Instance handed down a decision also revoking the claims of the second patent asserted by Nespresso, and therefore dismissing Nespresso’s claims against ECC.