Gillette Sues Dollar Shave Club For Alleged Patent Infringement

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Dollar Shave Club Sued By Procter & Gamble Subsidiary Gillette.

Gillette announced today that it has filed suit against Dollar Shave Club, seeking both damages and an injunction to stop the startup from selling razors that use allegedly infringing technology. “We have long invested heavily in innovation, and our talented scientists have dedicated their careers to delivering the best shaving experience possible for men and women around the world,” said Deborah P. The website being sued is a company that has made a successful business out of making reliable razors, shaving creams and after-shaves that you can order online and get delivered straight to your doorstep. Majoras, chief legal officer of Procter & Gamble (which owns Gillette), in a press release. “Our patents help protect the many technical advancements we’ve made through the years – and when it becomes necessary, we take action to protect these important assets.” The Los Angeles-based startup launched in 2012, offering subscription plans for razors costing as little as $1 per month.

The civil lawsuit, which was filed in Delaware, alleges the subscription razor blade service used Gillette’s patented technology without permission. The seven-page lawsuit claims that Dollar Shave Club’s blades infringe on a patent, issued in 2004, that involves two coatings used to strengthen the edge of a blade and protect it from wear. Gillette specifically claims its patent covers the use of a “substrate with a cutting edge defined by a sharpened tip and adjacent facts, a layer of hard coating on the cutting edge being made of amorphous material containing carbon, an overcoat layer of a chromium containing material on the layer of hard coating, and an outer layer of polytetrafluroethylene coating over the overcoat layer.” Whatever that means, Gillette says the patented system results in “improved adhesion,” as well as “improved edge strength” and “reduced tip rounding” which “minimizes any increase in cutting force thereby maintaining excellent shaving performance.” Some of Gillette’s most popular products, like the Mach3, Venus, and Fusion razors, are covered by “one or more claims of the ‘513 Patent,” the suit says. Reuters reports John Griffin, Douglas Kohring, Craig Provost, and William Tucker unlawfully shared confidential information and trade secrets with their new employer. P&G won’t disclose how many subscribers its shave club has, but since its June relaunch, Gillette’s e-commerce share of blade and razors has increased four percentage points, the company said last month.

As stated in the lawsuit, Shavelogic was later issued patents for the products — which were developed while Griffin, Kohring, Provost, and Tucker were working for Gillette. Dubin said the company was on track this year to generate $140 million in sales, which includes sales of other personal care products like shaving cream and flushable wipes. Over the next century, the company stuck to their original motto: “There is a better way to shave and we will find it.” With research and development centers in Boston, Massachusetts, and Reading, United Kingdom, Gillette is proud to employ “unique and diverse professionals drive with passion and creativity.” Although Gillette remains the frontrunner in retail razor sales, the company is being threatened by an increase in internet and subscription services. Gillette’s subscription service takes a different approach to Dollar Shave’s, which tries to get customers into the habit of changing their blades weekly. According to Gillette’s Shave Club website, their Mach3 Turbo Classic Plan costs approximately $3.50 per cartridge, the Fusion Advanced Plan costs approximately $4.50 per cartridge, and the Fusion ProGlide Ultimate Plan costs approximately $4.90 per cartridge.

The claim relies on the durability of Gillette blades and the fact that they can last a month for men who shave an average of three to four times a week.

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