Coffee machine and capsule company Nespresso has been accused by one of its suppliers of infringing a glass coffee cup design.
At a court hearing in Paris, French tableware supplier Silodesign said that after a production problem had prevented it from meeting an order from Nespresso for the cups, the coffee giant had gone ahead and produced a lookalike.
The Silodesign glass cup has no handle but features a stay-cool double wall that allows it to be held even with very hot liquids inside.
Silodesign is suing Nespresso for trademark infringement and unfair competition over the cup, saying the only difference between its product and Nespresso’s is that Nespresso added its own logo.
However, Nespresso claims that the doubled-over design of the cup’s glass sides is not protectable, and says it was not disloyal to Silodesign because the French company cancelled the contract when it knew it could not fulfill the order.
Nespresso is now countersuing Silodesign for an abusive lawsuit. A ruling is due on January 14.
Nespresso is said to be the fastest-growing brand within Switzerland-based Nestle, with annual sales growing at an average of 30% over the past decade.