P&G’s Gillette Sues Dollar Shave Club

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Gillete Sues Dollar Shave Club For Alleged Patent Infringement.

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. 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 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.

While the popularity of facial hair has had the razor industry on edge in recent years, web sales of men’s shaving gear is a booming business, almost doubling in the 12 months through May of this year to $263 million, the WSJ notes, which is about 8% of the total $3 billion market. 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. 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.

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. While razor makers have for years battled over how many blades they can fit onto a cartridge, Gillette’s newest cartridge, the Fusion ProShield, will instead feature a new lubricating strip.

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