Intellectual Property.

The smart bomb in marketing's armoury.

Derek Ralston

If you love a good espresso and you happen to have 'marketing' in your job description, you'll love Nespresso.

To get a really good cup of coffee you need four things: the right coffee beans; absolute freshness; the perfect grind; and the perfect temperature. Nestl has developed all four with the Nespresso World. The coffee comes in hermetically sealed, portioncontrolled tabs, in a variety of bean types that stay fresh for six months and are perfectly ground. The machine (take your pick from a range of manufacturers, including Alessi, Krups and other stylish models) delivers the perfect espresso or cappuccino every time.

What makes Nespresso so sexy to Nestl? It's the patents. If the last century in marketing was the battle of the brands, there is a new smart bomb increasingly making its presence felt: the ability to gain competitive advantage via the Patent Office.