Gillette is owner of the European patent EP 1 695 800 B1 claiming “a replaceable razor blade cartridge including a blade unit and cartridge connecting structure”. The patent is in force since 2nd February, 1997 and has already been subject of a lawsuit back in the year 2013. At that time, the Federal Patent Court had considered the patent to be legally valid. However, the Federal Patent Court did not have to make a decision, because the parties had agreed.
Wilkinson Sword GmbH had supplied several drugstores with replaceable razor blades that fit on the “Mach 3” shaver a couple of weeks ago. These razor blades were offered and sold in the drugstores under private labels for about 30 % less than the razor blades of Gillette.
Gillette sees the European patent infringed by the imitation product and applied for a temporary restraining order at the Regional Court in Düsseldorf. The Regional Court decided that Wilkinson Sword GmbH has to refrain selling razor blades for shavers, which fit on the shaver “Mach 3” by Gillette.
The judgement is not yet final, so that Wilkinson Sword GmbH could still appeal to the Higher Regional Court.
The Gillette-patent expires on February 18, 2018, so that Wilkinson Sword GmbH is allowed to bring the replaceable razor blade into the market next year (after the patent expired). Nevertheless, Gillette can be satisfied, because they already have filed 35 patent applications for the new popular model “Mach 3 Turbo”.
This shows that the companies protect themselves in an offensive manner, even in relatively uncomplicated everyday items. We will help you to develop the right patent strategy for your company and help to proceed against patent infringers.