The battle of the power toothbrushes

Ultreo, Inc., makers of Ultreo, a power toothbrush based on ultrasound waveguide technology, filed a counter suit against Procter & Gamble in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York last week.

P&G, which makes the Oral-B power toothbrush, filed a suit against Ultreo in September for allegedly misleading consumers and dental professionals through false advertising. According to P&G, Ultreo's claim that their product's ultrasound waveguide technology creates bubbles that fight plaque--that bristle action alone leaves behind--is false. P&G further claimed that one of its studies proved the Ultreo toothbrush was more effective at removing plaque with its ultrasound waveguide technology switched off.

"Ultreo has provided no clinical proof that the ultrasound makes any difference in plaque removal in the mouth. We're taking this action to prevent consumers from being misled and to protect our business," said Dr. Paul Warren, Vice President of Global Oral Care Scientific and Professional Relations for P&G in a press release.

Ultreo has denied these claims in full, and in its countersuit says that P&G is misleading consumers and dental professionals by falsely disparaging Ultreo. Ultreo claims considerable scientific evidence proves its product's advantages, notably a 95 percent reduction of plaque within the first minute of brushing.

"Our marketing focuses on the strong scientific evidence behind Ultreo and the proven consumer preference for the incredible feeling of clean Ultreo provides," said Ultreo CEO and President Jack Gallagher in a press release. "It’s obvious that this is the real source of concern for P&G. The fact that a $76 billion market leader is attacking and disparaging a $3 million startup offering a technological innovation simply validates Ultreo’s acceptance by the marketplace."

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