Keurig sued for anti-competitive K-cup tactics


#17

This is obviously going to head into coffee-snob territory. I don’t grind coffee every day. I don’t roast my own beans.
I try to buy fresh-roasted beans every few days, and either have it ground on site or do it all at once when I get home. I know I’m not getting the perfect cup of Joe every morning, but I get it fast and it’s good.

On days off, when I have time, I can snob about with a pour over or whatever, but on work days, I’m heading out the door quick with a fair trade off.


#18

Do you think people who prefer Chianti over Thunderbird are snobs as well? :wink:


#19

Why do is there such a thing as K-cup technique, then? Keurig seems to market to those who want a guarantee of a fast, acceptable coffer with no mess.

You might as well use an aeropress. At least it’s easy to clean up.


#20

I always find it interesting how many of these technologies don’t take off until after the patents expire and competitors bring the price down to a reasonable level. The 3D printer revolution we are in the middle of could have happened 10 years ago, except that the patent holders were completely uninterested in serving the broader market and instead focused entirely on high end niches instead.


#21

Well, they certainly have the right to try, like they are (were?) doing with DRM

And those third party cup makers have every right to circumvent those measures to make their cups compatible with Keurig brewers.


#22

Is the Keurig not digital enough to fall under the DMCA? This is exactly the kind of situation the law was set up to be abused for.

Maybe they need to pay off Congress enough to create a physical version of the DMCA that allows people to encode manufacturer lock in into law.


#23

Is the Keurig not digital enough to fall under the DMCA? This is exactly the kind of situation the law was set up to be abused for.

While it’s more complicated than my short little non-lawyer answer could ever cover, the DMCA anti-circumvention statutes all specify that it is illegal to distribute/use/whatever tools to circumvent technology that protects access to a copyrighted work. And K-cups and Keurig brewers are not copyrighted works

And even though it’s only a circuit court decision, Lexmark vs Static Control Components is right on point here:

“… our holding should not be limited to the narrow facts surrounding either the Toner Loading Program or the Printer Engine Program. We should make clear that in the future companies like Lexmark cannot use the DMCA in conjunction with copyright law to create monopolies of manufacturer goods for themselves…”


#24

That sets a double standard, where just because something is physical you can’t lock out access to competitors with a simple legal action like you can with digital goods. How are you supposed to create monopolies if people are allowed to compete with you?!? This is clearly an oversight in the law and must be corrected. Looking at the MPAA, you only need to spend about $2.5 million on bribes to write whatever laws you want. Keurig could totally manage that.


#25

I have a coffee/espresso machine that does everything in 30 seconds (including grinding the beans). Maybe a bit more if you want to steam some milk. I have nothing to dispose of except the grounds which go in the compost. Why do people think the Keurig is so great?


#26

You paid, what, about $600-$1000 for it?


#27

The method they’re trying to use to make them incompatible is a last gasp at keeping control of their market. That got discussed in this thread. Basically, they’re applying an ink marker on the new pods, and the new coffee makers won’t accept a Pod without that ink marker. Their DRM is a specific ink color, and it really isn’t a protectable tech.

Some people had already bought the new 2.0 makers, and bought existing pods without the ink mark not knowing why it wouldn’t work. That got the company extra bad publicity - exactly what they didn’t need when sales were already dropping. Those in the know, didn’t buy - Keurig’s sales have since plummeted.


#28

Compared to the guys down the street who are cornering? Yes, yes they are.


After a few months of kopi luwak it pays for itself!

Me, I’m such a cheapskate* right now that even the free coffee at work tastes better than what I brew up at home (although mace, allspice and cinnamon make a nice addition to the grounds, as does molasses in the cup).

 * I tried to convince the wife to prioritize coffee over diapers but it didn’t fly well, not even after I pointed out the prior-art of hamsters and woodshavings.


#29

I’m now trapped between the mental image of your brewing coffee out of hamsters and woodshavings and one of your using hamsters and woodshavings to keep your baby dry and clean.

More information is clearly needed here.


#30

People who drink Franzia out of a box are snobs compared to Thunderbird victims. Chianti is a type of wine.

As to coffee snobbery, examples:


Good coffee must be served only in authentic Fire-King jadeite mugs.


#31


#32

The Keurig lists fo $200. And Keurig plans to make up the low, low price by selling Kcups at $0.50 a cup-- .3 ounces of coffee, or about 24 bucks a pound-- more than twice as much as, say, Starbucks. or Petes.

Plus, it’s not a terribly tasty brew.


#33

About $1000. It was using mileage on my credit card so it didn’t “feel” like spending a $1000. FWIW, I doubt I would have spent actual cash in that amount but having used the thing for several years now I would pay double for another. It’s that great although YMMV. Sometimes a low machine price obscures the real cost in terms of time and disposable items not to mention the environmental impact.


#34

I’m pretty sure people who are in the market for a Keurig aren’t looking for a Girl Genius[1] level of coffee experience. They just want something that hasn’t been congealing in the communal pot for 16 hours.

[1] This one and the following 3 pages.


#35

The workplace.

I have not worked in a shared office setting in a number of years, but started this fall semester. One of the faculty I work with has a K machine that she put in the faculty/staff kitchen and allows anyone to use. I can walk in downstairs at 9:55, drop my bag in my office upstairs, grab my fat pony mug or TARDIS mug and a K-cup (actually Safeway brand), and be in my boss’s office for our 10am meeting with coffee in hand, leaving no mess for anyone else to deal with.

Compared to the smell of aging, slightly burnt coffee that regularly emanates from the administration kitchen and its two drip makers (which I just bet neither the Dean nor the President nor the Provost ever re-fills themselves), the Keurig is a godsend.


closed #36

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