Lawsuit: Dollar Shave Club is stealing from P&G

Posted at 11:57 AM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 17:57:56-05

CINCINNATI – Procter & Gamble is suing a popular razor company, claiming it's illegally profiting off P&G patented technology.

Cincinnati’s P&G, on behalf of its subsidiary The Gillette Company, filed the suit in Delaware Thursday against Dollar Shave Club.

P&G officials claim Dollar Shave Club, a marketer and retailer of shaving products, is violating Gillette’s intellectual property by selling razors that use patented technology developed by Gillette.

“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,” P&G Chief Legal Officer Deborah P. Majoras said 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.”

P&G spokesman Damon Jones said the company became aware of possible unauthorized use of razor technology through the use of regular competitor product tests.

Jones said three Dollar Shave Club products -- the Humble Twin, the Executive and the 4X -- used technology that P&G patented "and has patented for some time."

The lawsuit alleges "coding used on the Dollar Shave Club razor blades was copycatted" from Gillette, Jones said. The majority of Gillette razors use the cited technology, according to Jones.

Dollar Shave Club started in 2012 and promises "No commitment. No fees. No BS," for razor blades delivered to members for $1, $6 or $9 per month (plus shipping and handling). Their most popular commercial has gotten almost 22 million views on YouTube; the title is "Our Blades are F****** Great."

The lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction to prevent Dollar Shave Club from selling any products that P&G claim would infringe Gillette’s patented technology.

The Boston Globe has the full lawsuit embedded here.