Dollar Shave Club launched in 2012, with the help of a goofy viral YouTube video, offering subscription plans for razors starting at $1 per month. Since then the Los Angeles-based startup has raised more than $150 million in funding and has expanded its lineup with products like butt wipes.
The company claims to have 10 million customers but now appears to have hit a speed bump. According to the Wall Street Journal Gillette has filed a patent lawsuit against Dollar Shave Club, seeking both damages and an injunction to stop its rival from selling razors that use allegedly infringing technology.
Products Infringe on a 2004 Gillette Patent
Gillette, which launched its own subscription service earlier this year, says that the company routinely tests competitors' products and by doing so discovered the infringement on a patent issued in 2004.
The patent in question concerns a method for coating razorblades and strengthens the edge of a blade to protect it from wear according to WSJ.
– 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, says Deborah P. Majoras, chief legal officer of Procter & Gamble, which owns Gillette.
– 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.