Grab a cup of Joe and take a seat to hear the latest controversy in the coffee industry: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the makers of the popular Keurig, has come up with a new way to prevent owners from using cheaper, generic pods.
Tech companies might find this tale interesting for a couple of reasons. First, the strong-armed tactic of locking one widget to another is an idea many flirt with as a way to retain customers. Second, geeks drink a lot of caffeine.
Green Mountain says the new machines, which are coming out in the fall, will include interactive readers programmed to work only with Keurig-licensed pods — where it primarily makes its money.
In response to the move, TreeHouse Foods has filed a lawsuit against the company, accusing Keurig of “anti-competitive” measures to “maintain its monopoly by redesigning its brewers to lock out competitors’ products,” reports Techdirt, which has a copy of the complaint.
Luckily, there are alternatives. To name two, Starbucks makes the Verismo and there’s the Nespresso.
Or, better yet, wait for high-tech solution and jailbreak it once it comes out.