P&G’s Gillette sues Schick maker Edgewell over razor blade design

gillette-600BOSTON: Procter & Gamble Co’s Gillette unit on Monday sued the maker of Schick razors for the second time in 13 months, seeking to stop its sale of razor blade cartridges designed to fit Gillette’s Fusion handles.

Gillette filed its latest lawsuit against Edgewell Personal Care Co roughly six months after slashing razor prices an average of 12% to keep rivals such as Schick, Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club from cutting into its still-dominant market share for men’s razors and blades.

In a complaint filed in the federal court in New Haven, Connecticut, Gillette said Schick willfully infringed its 2015 patent for a removable shaving cartridge assembly by designing Hydro Connect 5 and Hydro Connect 5 Sensitive cartridges to fit Fusion razor handles.

Gillette said this has caused “irreparable harm” and justifies that Edgewell pay royalties and triple damages.

P&G said it also filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission seeking to block Edgewell from importing infringing products from China.

Edgewell declined to comment, saying it was still evaluating the complaint, which was filed in the early afternoon.

The case was brought four months after Edgewell launched an online subscription service to sell Hydro Connect 5 cartridges that could fit Fusion handles, and Hydro Connect 3 cartridges that could fit Gillette’s Mach3 handles.

Gillette separately sued Edgewell in August 2016, claiming it falsely marketed a line of private label three-blade razors and cartridges as being “as good or better than Mach3.”

The companies settled later that year, and the lawsuit was dismissed, according to court records.

Edgewell was spun off in July 2015 by battery maker Energizer Holdings Inc and is based in Chesterfield, Missouri, though it has offices in Connecticut. Gillette is based in Boston, and P&G in Cincinnati.