Patented Coffee

This is my favorite new espresso maker. It is also — paradoxically — an argument against patents.

The Nespresso machine, by everyone’s favorite Swiss uncle, Nestlé, chocolate maker to the Gods.

It has a handle that goes up and down. A pod that gets dropped into a slot. And a mechanism that pierces the pod with tiny holes, allowing hot water to be expressed through it, thereby making — ta dah! — espresso.

Apparently it is also associated with 170 patents.

170.

Really.

Want to hazard a guess how many pods they’ve pre-sold into the international market for 2011?

7 billion.

That will pay for a bit of patent litigation, eh?

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