Nestle loses coffee capsule battle in Germany

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BERLIN (AP) — Switzerland's Nestle has lost a bid in neighboring Germany to ban the sale generic coffee capsules that can be used in its Nespresso machines.

A Duesseldorf regional court on Thursday rejected Nestle's emergency application to block two other Swiss firms from selling lower-priced capsules labeled "suitable for Nespresso machines" in Germany.

The court says Nestle's patent on the machine does not extend to its capsules, and that the consumer is not responsible for any patent infringement by using the non-Nestle capsules.

Nestle has been fiercely defending its lucrative Nespresso business around the world. Last year sales passed 3 billion francs ($3.6 billion) worldwide.

Nestle can appeal the decision.

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