Mary Kay innovation pipeline underlined by record number of patents

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Mary Kay innovation pipeline underlined by record number of patents
Mary Kay has been focusing on innovation as a means of staying ahead of competition in the fast-paced US and global cosmetic markets, and 130 patent awards in 2015 bear testimony to this focus.

The patents range in size and application, with a distinct focus on both packaging and skin care as the key areas for the company’s research and development efforts.

In the skin care and product formulations, patent awards during the course of the year went to TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Lifting Serum, TimeWise Body Targeted-Action Toning Lotion and TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Eye Renewal Cream.

Packaging category patents 

In the packaging category innovation for design came in the form of patent awards for Cityscape Eau de Parfum and Cityscape Cologne Spray bottles, Lash Intensity Mascara and TimeWise Repair Volu-Fill Deep Wrinkle Filler.

“Mary Kay’s patents play a key role in keeping our products competitive and protecting the company’s unique ingredients, formulas, technologies and product designs,”​ said Sheryl Adkins-Green, chief marketing officer for Mary Kay, in a press statement to market the patent milestone.

During more than 50 years in the direct selling cosmetic business the company has registered more than 1,200 patents as part of its drive to innovate, but the number of patents awarded in 2015 underlines how crucial innovation has become to stay ahead in the overcrowded market.

“The patent process spurs innovation,”​ said John Wiseman, vice president and associate general counsel for intellectual property and innovation for Mary Kay. “Because we can protect our inventions, we have an incentive to continue inventing great things.”

Further investment in R&D facilities

In line with the focus on research and development, Mary Kay is set to invest further in the area, having confirmed the site of its new $100m R&D and manufacturing facility last month.

Company executives identified the city of Lewisville in Denton County, Northern Texas, as the site of the new global manufacturing and research and development facility.

The company had deliberated over the choice of a new site for the new facility or to extend the existing Dallas manufacturing site, but executives say that the development of the new facility will not interfere with existing manufacturing or distribution.

Greenfield site was the best option

The search for a new facility took the company’s research team all over North Texas, and a greenfield site in the city of Lewisville was deemed to be the best option.

Upon announcing the new site, the company says it will not reveal the exact location until the final closing of the property purchase.

The criteria for the search took into consideration convenience for employees, as well as logistical considerations such as proximity to other existing facilities and the company’s headquarters in Addison.

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