ternational expansion. Research and Development The company’s research and development costs were expensed as incurred and amounted to $76.5 million for the year ended September 27, 2014. Intellectual Property The company owns various United States trademarks and service marks that have been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It anticipates maintaining its trademark and service mark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The company also owns other trademarks and service marks for which the company has applications for the U.S. registration. The company has further registered or applied for the registration of certain of its trademarks and service marks in the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada, Japan, the People's Republic of China, South Korea, Taiwan, and other foreign countries. The company holds the U.S. patents and international patents related to its Keurig Brewing and portion pack technology. The company has pending patent applications associated with certain elements of K-Cup pack technology, which if issued as patents, would extend coverage over all or some portion of K-Cup packs, and have expiration dates extending to 2023. Certain elements of the current generation of Vue and K-Carafe packs are covered by patents, which expire in 2021 and by others that are still pending. In addition, the company has various issued and pending patents that relate to the Keurig 2.0 Beverage System, as well as to Keurig Cold. Seasonality The company’s business is subject to seasonal fluctuations, including fluctuations resulting from the holiday season. As a result, total inventory, and primarily, brewers and accessories finished goods inventory is considerably higher during the last fiscal quarter than other quarters during the fiscal year (year ending September 2014), as the company prepares for the holiday season. Due to the shift in product mix toward brewers and accessories in the first quarter of its fiscal year, gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, is lower in the first fiscal quarter than in the remainder of the fiscal year. Historically, in addition to variations resulting from the holiday season, the company has experienced variations in sales from quarter-to-quarter due to various other factors, including but not limited to, the cost of green coffee, competitor initiatives, marketing programs, and weather. Competition The company competes with Bunn-O-Matic Corporation; Mars, Inc. (through its FLAVIA unit); Conair, Inc.; Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc.; Jarden Corporation; Nestle S.A. (including its Dolce-Gusto and Nespresso brewing systems); D.E. Master Blenders 1753 N.V., controlled by JAB Holding Co. (including its SENSEO brewing system); Mondelez International, Inc. (including its TASSIMO brewing system); Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.; Starbucks Corporation (including its Verismo brewing system); and Whirlpool Corporation. History Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. was founded in 1981.
keurig green mountain inc
33 Coffee Lane
Waterbury, VT 05676
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