* Court denies Sturm's motion to dismiss case
* Decision allows Sturm to continue selling refills
* Green Mountain shares down 5 pct
(Adds comments from companies, background on Green Mountain's
By Mihir Dalal
BANGALORE, March 11 A U.S. court denied Green
Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc's request for an
injunction to stop Sturm Foods from selling coffee refills for
Green Mountain's one-cup Keurig coffee machines.
The court also rejected a motion by Sturm Foods -- which was
bought by diverse food products maker TreeHouse Foods in
December 2009 -- to dismiss the case for its failure to state a
The Delaware federal court's ruling allows Sturm Foods to
continue selling its "Grove Square" branded instant coffee for
Keurig machines. Sturm is the only company currently selling
refills for Keurig without a license.
Green Mountain's patents have been cited as a key reason by
some analysts for its continued dominance of the U.S. single-cup
coffee market of which it has a more than 80 percent share.
The Waterbury, Vermont-based company has licensing deals
with companies like J.M. Smucker and Dunkin' Donuts.
On Thursday, it signed an agreement with Starbucks Corp
that will allow the world's biggest coffee chain to
sell its coffee for Keurig.
However, these companies are to sell coffee packaged in
Green Mountain's patented K-Cups -- plastic packs of coffee and
tea -- unlike Sturm, which is selling instant coffee.
Green Mountain spokeswoman Suzanne Dulong said the company
does not comment on pending litigation matters. TreeHouse Foods
did not return calls requesting comment.
Shares of Green Mountain, which jumped 41 percent on news of
the Starbucks deal on Thursday, were down 5 percent at $58.47 in
afternoon trading on Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Mihir Dalal in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb