Get All Access for $5/mo

Gillette Sues Dollar Shave Club Over Patented Technology Claims Grooming brand says competitor infringed on a 2004 patent involving a 'chromium-containing overcoat layer.'

By Jonathan Chew

This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

Shutterstock

Procter and Gamble's male grooming brand Gillette has filed a lawsuit against online competitor Dollar Shave Club for alleged use of its patented technology.

The suit, filed in federal court in Delaware, alleges that Dollar Shave Club infringed on a 2004 Gillette patent that involved a "chromium-containing overcoat layer" to strengthen razor blades. Gillette uses this coating on its Mach 3, Venus, Fusion products and other product lines, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Gillette, the world's largest maker of razors, has "reason to believe" that Dollar Shave Club was making changes to its products and using their patent, a spokesperson told The Journal. According to Re/code, Gillette is seeking monetary damages and a court order to stop Dollar Shave Club from selling infringing razors.

"We take every violation of our intellectual property seriously, and when necessary, we take legal action to defend our business as we have in the past and will continue to do in the future," P&G spokesman Damon Jones said to The Journal.

Gillette, which controls around 60 percent of the U.S. retail market for razors, has seen its market share slip as companies such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry's have leveraged the online space to sell their shavers and other related grooming products. In three years, Dollar Shave Club has around 8 percent of the $3 billion U.S. market for razors and blades, while Gillette has around 20 percent.

Interestingly, as mentioned by Re/code, the suit does not name Dorco, the South Korean maker of Dollar Shave Club's razors. "[Dollar Shave Club is] actually selling the product and bringing it to market; that's why they are named in the suit," Jones told Re/code.

A spokesperson for Dollar Shave Club said they have no comment at this time.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Starting a Business

They Showed Up to Apple With a Product They Built in Their Dorm Room. Now These Entrepreneurs Are on the Way to Changing the Way Fans Watch Sports.

How Rahat Kulshreshtha and Gaurav Mehta launched Quidich Innovation Labs, technology that is literally changing the game of sports viewership.

Side Hustle

She Had Less Than $800 When She Started a Side Hustle — Then This Personal Advice From Tony Robbins Helped Her Make $45 Million

Cathryn Lavery built planner and conversation card deck company BestSelf Co. without any formal business education.

Leadership

Your Definition of Leadership Is Outdated — Here's How to Be a Better Leader in the Modern Workplace

In my nearly thirty years as a leader, I've focused on setting a clear vision and empowering my team to achieve our goals. We prioritize establishing shared objectives while allowing for flexibility when needed.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Career

How to Tell You're About to Get Fired — Plus 4 'Typical' Reasons for It, From a Career Expert

Emily Levine, executive vice president of recruitment and advisory firm Career Group Companies, breaks down what you need to know.