P&G said Tuesday that through Gillette it filed suit against Edgewell in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. Focusing on Edgewell’s three-blade private-label razors, sold in major retail stores nationwide, P&G’s complaint claims deceptive acts and practices, false advertising, unfair competition and patent infringement by Edgewell.
Specifically, the P&G suit targets false claims made against the Gillette Mach3 men’s shaving brand and alleges multiple patent violations.
“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, and we will challenge those violations,” P&G chief legal officer Deborah Majoras said in a statement.
Edgewell on Tuesday issued a statement refuting P&G’s claims in the suit.
“We believe P&G’s allegations have no basis. Gillette’s Mach3 patents have expired, and we are confident in the quality and performance of our private-label products,” Edgewell said in its statement. “We will vigorously defend ourselves against these meritless claims and will continue to support our valued customers around the world.”
Edgewell is the maker of the Schick, Edge, Wilkinson Sword and Skintimate shaving brands. On its website, Edgewell says its Private Brands Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of private-label razors, with its Personna brand often used as an entry-level price point in markets where private label is less developed.
Razor sales totaled $483.8 million in the multi-outlet retail channel (including food, drug and mass stores, select club and dollar chains, and military commissaries) for the 52 weeks ended May 15, according to IRI.
In that time frame, Procter & Gamble razor brands had sales of $261.1 million, while razor brands from Edgewell Personal Care (formerly Energizer Personal Care) totaled $141.3 million. By dollars, Gillette Mach3 razors were No. 9, with sales of $18.9 million during that period. Sales of private-label razors, the second-largest brand by dollars, were nearly $34.3 million.