Gillette Suing Dollar Shave Club For Patent Infringement
In the past few years barriers to entry for innovation have been getting lower and lower – cloud computing, social media marketing, capital availability etc. A classic example is Dollar Shave Club – a guy with an idea for lowering the cost of shaving whilst turning it into a recurring business model – Dollar Shave Club.
The approach was simple – create an ad around what you want to offer – if it works – create a supply chain behind it and raise VC then sell for a $1billion dollars. The model works and works well.
For corporates it’s a lot harder – loaded with overhead the room for agile innovation and speed to market is minimal – but even The Economist
missed that point.
So, if all else fails – turn to your patent lawyers to defend your market position and sue. Exactly what Gillette are doing to Dollar Shave Club.
From Fastcompany – The razor industry’s dominant player claims Dollar Shave Club’s razors are in violation of a 2004 Gillette patent.
Gillette, a behemoth in the razor market, is putting the screws to popular e-commerce upstart Dollar Shave Club in an attempt to curb its razor sales altogether. A suit filed by Gillette in federal court on Thursday alleges that Dollar Shave Club’s razors infringe on a patent it has held since 2004; Gillette has requested an injunction to bar Dollar Shave Club from selling the razors.
Dollar Shave Club made its debut in 2012, with a cheeky ad starring founder Michael Dubin that went viral. The company boasted an online subscription model that started at $1 per month and has since racked up 10 million customers and more than $90 million in capital, according to the Wall Street Journal.
According to court documents, Gillette argues that Dollar Shave Club’s razors infringe on a patent for the coating on the end of razors, which is designed to protect them from wear and tear.
“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,” Deborah Majoras, chief legal officer of Gillette parent company Procter & Gamble, said in a statement.