Despite a long history of failed attempts at using DRM to control hardware products, Keurig has decided to employ DRM measures in their new coffee brewing machines that prevents the use of competing coffee pods. Coupled with a failure to clear previous, non-approved, Keurig-branded cups from store shelves before launching the product this was a recipe for a very disappointing product launch.
The use of DRM was influenced by the expiration of the company’s patents on the disposable coffee pods the machine uses. Since this patent expired, many new competitors have offered lower-cost, alternative drink pods that were eating away at Keurig’s main source of profits. This is an attempt to use copyright as a mechanism for enforcing something that should be covered under patent law.
Unfortunately for Keurig, they don’t seem to understand just how much their customers want their product to remain free; a hack to make these machines work with any coffee pod has already been devised.