* Denner will resume coffee pod sales in about three weeks
* Nespresso will continue legal action-spokesman
ZURICH, March 4 Swiss supermarket Denner may
sell its Nespresso-compatible coffee capsules, a Swiss court
ruled on Friday, dealing a blow to Nestle NESN.VX as it tries
to fend off competition for its premium coffee brand.
Denner, owned by Swiss retailer Migros, had launched its
version of Nestle's top-selling Nespresso pods in December,
though sales were halted after Nestle took legal action.
"We are very pleased. It will take about three weeks until
we can again sell our capsules as we were not allowed to produce
or store them since the preliminary ruling in January," Denner
spokeswoman Nicole Schoewel said.
Nespresso will continue with the legal action to protect its
intellectual property, spokesman Julian Liew said.
The commercial court in St. Gallen said only the
three-dimensional form of Nespresso capsules was protected under
the registered trademark but not the capsule's compatibility
with Nespresso machines, lifting a selling ban imposed in
Nestle and its Nespresso unit, which generated sales of more
than 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.23 billion) in 2010, have 30
days to file a lawsuit, the court said.
In a separate case, the Zurich commercial court found last
month that the Denner coffee pods did not infringe Nespresso
Last year, Nespresso and Nestle sued U.S. food group Sara
Lee SLE.N and Swiss-based Ethical Coffee Co, which are both
selling Nespresso-compatible coffee pods.
($1=.9303 Swiss Franc)
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)