Texas readers may have heard about a company called Dollar Shave Club whose online razor business launched in 2012. Since that time, the company's popularity has grown to include approximately 2.4 million subscribers. Gillette, a shaving industry leader, filed a patent law claim against Dollar, alleging that Dollar violated certain sections of its patent on razor technology.
Largely due to the fact that Dollar offers razors at discounted prices with delivery to customers' homes, it has quickly risen to the number two spot in the country for sales, edging out Gillette rival Schick. The company estimates that it will make approximately $140 million this year. One source indicates that this equates to nearly 8 percent of the total market.
The razor market in the United States is a $3 billion a year industry. Recently, Gillette also entered the online marketplace in order to remain competitive. This could be, at least in part, because Proctor & Gamble, Gillette's owner, reported that its grooming business dropped 14 percent from last year, which equals approximately $1.7 billion.
Dollar has yet to reveal from where it receives its razors, but there is speculation that it is partnered with Korean company Dorco. At present, only Dollar is listed as a defendant in the patent law claim. That information may come to light as the litigation progresses into the discovery phase, during which both parties may be compelled to exchange documentation. At trial, Gillette will have to prove that its allegations against Dollar are true, just as any Texas company would in its place. If the court finds the patent was infringed, Dollar could be ordered to pay economic and non-economic damages to Gillette.
Source: businessinsider.com, "Gillette sues Dollar Shave Club for patent infringement", Richard Feloni, Dec. 17, 2015