Gillette Suing Dollar Shave Club Claiming Razor Subscription Service Infringes On Its Patents

With all those lumbersexuals and their bushy beards taking a big cut out of the razor business, it’s no surprise that competition is fierce. In an effort to protect its slice of the market, Gillette is suing online subscription razor service Dollar Shave Club for violation of intellectual property.

The civil suit filed in Delaware accuses Dollar Shave Club of using patented technology without Gillette’s approval, reports the Wall Street Journal. To back that claim up, Gillette cites a patent from 2004 for a razor blade coating method it uses in its Mach 3, Venus, and Fusion razor products.

Gillette wants an injunction preventing Dollar Shave Club from selling any products that infringe on its patents, and is also seeking monetary damages.

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.

Gillette is trying to elbow its way into an increasingly crowded online sales market for razors: though it has a hold on about 60% of the retail market right now, that market is shrinking, and its online subscription service (launched last year, ostensibly in response to Dollar Shave Club’s existence) only makes up about a fifth of the online market.

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P&G’s Gillette Sues Dollar Shave Club [Wall Street Journal]