The NutraSweet Co. has effectively promoted and advertised aspartame, a low-calorie, high-intensity sweetener, globally. NutraSweet's standing was safeguarded by copyrights till 1987 in Europe, Canada, and Japan, and till the late 1992, in the US. The case successions illustrates the rivalry that started amongst NutraSweet and the Holland Sweetener Co. (HSC) in 1987; after HSC's stepped into the aspartame business. Details the resulting action and reaction in the industry as well as the courts. Also talks about the business ‘game’ that happens at the strategic and the operational levels. Concludes with the ultimate countdown to the ending of NutraSweet's U.S. copyright.
1. How should Vermijs expect Nutrasweet to respond to the Holland Sweetener Company’s entry into the European and Canadian aspartame Markets?
2. How should Vermijs assess the relative likelihood of the two scenarios – price war and normal competition – he has in mind?
3. What are Nutrasweet’s strategies to extend their competitive advantage beyond the patent expiration date?
4. Will HSC be successful in the European and Canadian markets? How should they execute their strategy?
5. Why did nutrasweet enter into exclusive, long-term contracts with coke and pepsi, and why did coke and pepsi enter into these agreements with nutrasweet?