Gillette's attempt to slow the advances of upstart Dollar Shave Club with a patent lawsuit could end in failure, according to a financial firm that analyzes patents and other intellectual property.
On Thursday, Gillette, the 120-year-old shaving company owned by Procter & Gamble, sued Dollar Shave Club for alleged infringement of patent US6684513 (also known by the shortened '513 patent label). The patent describes a razor blade with a specific type of coating, which, according to the Gillette complaint, "provides the razor blade with excellent shaving characteristics … and promotes durability."
But the biggest nick in Gillette's legal argument may be its own patent.
David Pratt, president of Charlottesville, Virginia-based MCAM International, said the Gillette patent is "highly subject to invalidation if proper information is brought to light."
Specifically, MCAM found 13 existing patents with a high level of overlap to the one Gillette is using as the basis for the suit against Dollar Shave Club. "Amazingly, at least seven are patents owned by Gillette," Pratt said.