January 11, 2018 / 5:11 PM / 2 months ago

In blade war, Gillette cuts down Wilkinson in German court

FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) - A German court dealt a blow to razor maker Wilkinson Sword on Thursday by saying it must stop selling blades that fit on rival Gillette’s Mach 3 model.

Gillette's factory is pictured in Boston, Massachusetts December 5, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/Files

Wilkinson’s blades, which can sell for 30 percent less than Gillette’s, infringe the Procter & Gamble subsidiary’s patent rights, a regional court in Duesseldorf said in a statement, backing a lower court ruling made last year.

But Wilkinson’s owner Edgewell Personal Care said after the verdict that the patent at issue expires on Feb. 13 and that it was confident Thursday’s ruling would be nullified in Germany’s patent court.

A spokeswoman for Gillette said: “This patent and other patents are still valid in many markets around the world, including Germany, which is why we brought this lawsuit.”

“We invest heavily in innovation so it is critical that we are able to protect our advancements and the many scientists behind them,” said the spokeswoman.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan, Tom Sims and Martinne Geller; Editing by Emma Thomasson and Mark Potter

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