As the year comes to a close, I’m cleaning out various inboxes, feeds, and lists. In doing so I realized I’ve never linked to Bits About Money, where patio11 (Patrick McKenzie) deconstructs various esoterica about the financial system. Sometimes it’s nuts-and-bolts stuff like How Credit Cards Make Money, sometimes it’s counter intuitive like this one on fraud or this one on Siting Bank Branches - but it’s always interesting.
I recently bought my wife a Nespresso Vertuo Plus to replace her aging Keurig and was surprised to see that there were no third-party pods available. Nespresso machines have been around in some form since the 1980s, so it was surprising to me that a patent would not have expired by now.
Enter the design patent for a new capsule form. Apparently the Vertuo line was launched in the mid-2010s with a larger capsule design that (seemingly) serves two purposes:
As a consumer, it seems silly to me that such a minor change grants that long of an exclusivity window. On the business side, though, it’s pretty clever.