Is the future of beauty up for sale? RPG and IMX open auction of automated customization patents

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Is the future of beauty up for sale? RPG and IMX open auction of automated customization patents

Related tags: Innovation

The company’s joint venture, Beauty Personalization Domination, has set an opening bid of $500 million for the full portfolio of 75 patents and anticipates bids well above that figure coming from top multinational cosmetics and personal care companies as well as from retail innovators such as Amazon and Walmart.

Growing any custom, personal, or individualized business venture to commercial scale presents quite a challenge. In beauty, as in many CPG industries, digital technologies are being leveraged as solutions to this challenge.

Indeed, patents being auctioned by Beauty Personalization Domination are already being put to good use by beauty brands. According to today’s media release announcing the auction, beauty industry players have cited patents in the portfolio 400+ times.

Collective wisdom

As a whole, the patent portfolio facilitates what Beauty Personalization Domination calls unicustomization.

The capabilities of such a service include, “matches through a scanning system; diagnoses through analysis; provides recommendations on features, colors and delivery systems; delivers a completely customized solution; measures data; and projects sales and trend analysis,”​ according to an RPG and IMX site dedicated to the portfolio.

That site goes on to explain the unicustomization concept this way: “A breakthrough in a made-to-order shopping culture is poised to radically change the retail experience and the way that people sample and purchase. What if you could customize, create and own any beauty, personal care or home fragrance product in your imagination, universally, though multi-platform technology?

“The magic is in the immediacy and blend of personalization with customization. She loves it because she created it, and it is unique for her. She picks and chooses her very own customized colors and formulas through automated technology.”

Joint venture

Julie Bartholomew founded IMX Cosmetics in 2000 and is well-known as the inventor of numerous patents that make the hyper-personalization of beauty possible.

“For more than 18 years, I have envisioned all of the ways that the beauty industry would one day leverage the market-shifting power of personalization,” ​Bartholomew tells the press. (In the joint venture between RPG and IMX, Bartholomew serves as chief innovation technology officer.)

“During this time,” ​she explains, “I have been continuously innovating and designing to amass a deep and far reaching set of intellectual property assets. Now, when combined, this portfolio is ripe for tomorrow's market leader of personalization in the beauty industry to transform the consumer experience.”

RPG, led by Bruce Teitelbaum, is globally renowned as a design and development firm making experiential brick-and-mortar retail. Comparing some current beauty tech to the potential he sees for unicustomization, Teitelbaum says, “As innovative as both the new augmented reality experience for and Amazon's Echo Show Technology are they both are essentially advanced recommendation engines for existing products. Imagine, instead of recommending off-the-shelf products, a customer's unique biometric data could be synthesized into fully customized products, delivered in real-time and through any sales channel.”

“This is the next chapter of true personalization,” ​he says, “and why we are so excited to put our 75 patents up for sale.”



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.


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