Via Instapundit, who notes "WELL, THIS SUCKS, AND WILL CAUSE ME TO LEAVE KEURIG, I EXPECT":
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.
The best part of waking up? That IP in your cup!
As Casey Johnston writes at Ars Technica (where the above story appears):
Green Mountain plans to launch "Keurig 2.0" this fall, a new set of machines that will only interact with Green-Mountain-approved pods. There is no documentation showing how Green Mountain will control this. But if Sony is any precedent, it seems like maintaining control over plastic pods of coffee may be an uphill battle.
Watch "The Knockoff Economy: How Copying Benefits Everyone," a great vid about intellectua property and how it functions in the fashion, food, and other industries.