Nestlé sues over Nespresso-styled capsules

The Swiss-based food and beverage giant, Nestlé, has taken legal action against a United States food group for selling Nespresso-compatible coffee capsules.

This content was published on June 15, 2010

The Sara Lee Corporation is being prosecuted in France for patent infringement, Nestlé said in a statement on Tuesday. “We appreciate fair competition,” said the group, adding however that it would “always take the necessary steps to defend intellectual property”.

Sara Lee has sold 12 million of its own version of the coffee capsules, named L'Or Espresso, since the product was launched in France two months ago.

A spokesman for Sara Lee in Europe said the company "is confident that our product complies with all legal and regulatory requirements".

The Swiss group was exposed to more competition, when the Ethical Coffee Co., founded by former Nespresso chief executive Jean-Paul Gaillard launched similar capsules in France.

The Nespresso packaged capsules, used in special coffee machines to brew individual cups of espresso, are Nestlé’s top-selling product.

The unit’s sales rose by 22 per cent to SFr2.77 billion ($2.6 billion) in 2009 and Nestlé is aiming for sales of more than SFr3 billion in 2010. and agencies

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.