P&G Will Not Patent New Packaging Designed for People With Disabilities

Lisa Johnston
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The Olay Easy Open lid has a winged cap and extra-grip design.
The Olay Easy Open lid has a winged cap and extra-grip design.

Procter & Gamble’s latest packaging prototype is geared toward consumers with disabilities, and in keeping with theme of enhancing accessibility, it’s not patenting the design.

The Easy Open lid will be incorporated into the product design for the most popular products in P&G’s Olay North America line. It features such details as a winged cap and extra-grip raised lid for easier opening, as well as Braille text and a high-contrast product label.

In designing the lid, the company met with people both inside and outside the company with a range of challenges, including those with dexterity issues, limb differences, joint pain and vision impairments. It supports P&G’s larger goal to make its products and packaging more inclusive.

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Chris Heiert, OLAY senior VP, said the brand has a responsibility to ensure product accessibly for all consumers. As a result, the company will not patent the lid and will share the design with other manufacturers. It’s currently available for download on Olay’s website.  

“Our hope is that others will join us in our efforts in making products more accessible for everyone,” he said.

Consumers can also receive a free lid by purchasing the Regenerist Micro-Sculpting cream, Vitamin C + Peptide 24 face moisturizer, Retinol 24 Face moisturizer or Collagen Peptide 24 face moisturizer online.

The decision not to patent the design aligns with industry trends to be more collaborative when it comes to packaging and other innovations intended to be more environmentally friendly. PepsiCo has said it will work with other companies to license the technologies used in its Off the Beaten Path plant-based compostable bag at no cost.

In converting its global toothpaste portfolio to recyclable tubes by 2025, Unilever has said it will make the packaging innovation available to other companies.

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