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Orange County – Proctor and Gamble (P&G) filed a lawsuit through its subsidiary The Gillette Company against Edgewell Personal Care Co., which produces Schick brand razors and Edge shave gels. The lawsuit claims Edgewell engaged in false advertising, unfair competition, patent infringement, and deceptive acts and practices.
Edgewell released a new razor and cartridges in June designed to fit Gillette’s Mach3 razor. The marketing for the razor claimed it is “as good or better” than Mach3.
Gillette argues that claim is false advertising, citing internal testing comparing the razors that found Edgewell blades cause more nicks and cuts and, therefore, cannot be better.
“By falsely promoting its razor as being ‘as good or better’ than Mach3 and providing reduced irritation as compared to Mach3, Edgewell’s actions threaten harm to Gillette’s reputation and that of Mach3, thus jeopardizing Gillette’s hard-earned standing and market share,” Gillette stated in the lawsuit.
The patents Edgewell allegedly infringed expired on April 10, 2016, but Gillette argues the razor was designed while the patents were active and thus it is an infringement. The lawsuit is seeking damages and for Edgewell to remove its products from stores and cease using the claim that it shaves “as good or better” than the Mach3.
In a comment on the lawsuit, P&G stated, “When a competitor makes false and misleading claims against one of our products and infringes our patents, it’s unfair to consumers, and to our employees and shareholders.”
Edgewell commented on the lawsuit, stating, “We believe P&G’s allegations have no basis. Gillette’s Mach 3 patents have expired and we are confident in the quality and performance of our private label products. We will vigorously defend ourselves against these meritless claims and will continue to support our valued customers around the world.”
Gillette is the largest player in the $3 billion razors and blades market, making up 59% of the industry. This lawsuit is the third Gillette filed in the last year.
In a lawsuit that’s still pending, Gillette also claims patent infringement by The Dollar Shave Club, the largest online razor subscription service.
Gillette also sued four former employees who left to work for ShaveLogic Inc, claiming they shared trade secrets and breached their Gillette contract.