GILLETTE THWARTED IN ENERGIZER SUIT

Court Allows Schick Quattro to Remain in Stores

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- A U.S. District Court in Massachusetts late yesterday denied Gillette Co.'s motion for a preliminary injunction to remove rival Schick Quattro from store shelves.

The decision put a damper on Gillette's

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announcement earlier in the day it is launching its Mach 3 M3Power virbrating battery-operated razor in May in an effort to one-up Schick's launch last fall of the first four-bladed razor.

Patent infringement suit
In denying Gillette's motion, the court ruled the Boston-based blade maker had "no reasonable likelihood of success" of proving its patent infringement claim against the Energizer Holdings unit.

In a statement, Gillette said it disagreed with the ruling, adding that "we do not intend to abandon these claims based on this interim ruling." Gillette will contest the decision and proceed on claims in addition to the literal infringement claim on which the court ruled yesterday.

Last summer, before the Quattro launch, Gillette filed a patent-infringement lawsuit, claiming Quattro infringed on a 2001 patent covering "progressive blade geometry" for its three-bladed Mach 3.

The court ruled yesterday that Gillette's patent for a three-bladed razor could not apply to a four-bladed model, regardless of Gillette's claim that the middle two blades of Quattro are like a single blade, both occupying essentially the same position relative to the skin as the middle blade on Mach 3.

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