A Case For Patent Reform: How Gillette May Have Destroyed Innovation In Men’s Shaving

It has been over a hundred years since Gillette patented their technique of manufacturing disposable cheap blades and changed men’s shaving for ever.

The amazing success of this patent and the realisation that intellectual property rights can only last for twenty years resulted in a decision by the Gillette Company to constantly innovate and develop variations to the shaving theme and allow them to keep patenting and keep the intellectual property rights going for these ‘new’ products.

I do not blame them for wanting to continue being a successful Company. Neither do I blame the Patent Office for this situation of a perfectly good product having to be refined and tinkered with, often detrimentally, in order to protect the property rights of the company. I believe reform of some kind is badly needed in order to protect the consumer from constant and usually unnecessary product development which always results in extra cost being passed on to the consumer. Yes. Us.

We are the ones who have to pay each time Gillette wants a new patent protected by bringing out a ‘new’, or ‘revolutionary’ razor.

How many times have you seen an introductory pack featuring a new style shaving system with a new shaving head assembly on special offer? Once you purchase that razor at its discounted price you are then committed to buying a replacement pack of new blades. Wow!! The price of these blades is staggering and I believe that they are totally unnecessary.

Some years back I decided I was not going to play this game anymore. I bought an old school safety razor, a shaving brush and some shaving soap. Packs of double edged razor blades are available very cheaply on the internet. I admit it took a week or so to get used to the slightly different style of shaving. Shorter strokes than a modern multi bladed razor, and you don’t need to apply pressure while shaving. Just let the weight of the razor do the work. Result? Well, no more ingrowing stubble due to the modern razor lifting the hairs out of the follicle too far. The shaving soap moisturises really well and its luxurious lather prevents razor burn. And the biggest difference is in my wallet. I now spend a fraction on what I used to on shaving products and actually enjoy my morning shave. Try it and see for yourselves.

Alternatively if you decide to opt for an electric razors check out reviews to make sure it delivers exactly what you mean. There is a wide range of electric shavers available to choose from, and even I have to admit there are some very good products available.

A Case For Patent Reform Credit Picture License: Chris Devers via photopin cc