K-cups were developed by Keurig and they licensed a number of companies to make K-cup pods with coffee, teat, hot chocolate and other beverages. Plenty of other companies have created generic or knock-off coffee pods that work in Keurig brewng machines. Those knock-offs will no longer work if Keurig has anything to say about it.

According to TechDirt.com, Keurig is working on a new generation of coffee makers that will actually recognize licensed K-cups and reject any cheaper alternatives.

How you ask?

Well, TechDirt says a lawsuit filed against Keurig by TreeHouse Foods states that Keurig has been making exclusionary deals with a number of retailers to lock out competitors and that they are developing a new version of coffee maker that would ensure that only Keurig brand (or licensed) pods would be able to be used in Keurig brewers. (They say it would be a coffee equivalent to the DRM rights that many music companies tried to place in CDs about a decade ago. Guess how well that worked out?)

Sure enough, late last year Keurig's CEO acknowledged that their new generation of brewers will not be compatible with non-licensed pods.

I'm assuming the brewer would work with something like a RF-chip that would only brew if it sensed a proper pod in place. Sounds crazy high tech, and like horrible idea.

I understand that companies want/need the proprietary rights to things they have created. but this is a friggen coffee maker! Would you buy a washing machine that only accepted Tide detergent? Would you buy a mug that would only hold Viva milk? Would you buy a dishwasher that would only work with Cascade? I'm pretty sure 'No' is the correct answer for all of these here.

I love my Keurig machine, but I can guarantee I wouldn't buy a proprietary coffee maker unless their coffee was a lot better an a lot cheaper than anyone else's.

Would you?

Beano, TSM