Colgate-Palmolive has a significant stake in the world's oral hygiene market, with such toothpaste brands like Colgate, Elmex and Dentaguard, not to mention that the company accounts for one-third of the world's toothbrush sales.
That number should go up if a U.S. patent that it applied for back in October gets approved. The innovation, “a new toothbrush that releases chemicals straight into your mouth as you brush,” could net the company an additional $330 million—and that's only for one "flavor."
The special paste would allow consumers to have such things as caffeine come to them through their toothpaste in the morning rather than waiting a few more minutes to get through a cup of joe. The flavoring would come through the toothpaste via a patch attached to the back of a specially designed toothbrush.
ABC News reports that Colgate Palmolive’s initial patent request was rejected in April because a “combination of two other patents issued to parties other than Colgate had similar elements. One was a chewable toothbrush and the other was a flossing patent.” (Chewable? How about an edible toothbrush so we can eat and brush simultaneously?) Colgate has three to six months to respond.
Other potential flavorings that the company is exploring, according to its patent filing, include menthol, apple, mint, lemon and other fruits; topical pain relief chemicals (kill that toothache while you brush); and appetite suppressants. Talk about multitasking.
If Colgate's patent for the patch add-on is approved, the reinvented toothbrush “may work wonders for the company and help it to further strengthen its dominance in the oral care market worldwide,” Seeking Alpha opines.