one of my favorite retail stories of all time is the story of Softsoap. you know the soap with the aesthetic fishes?
well the guy who made it realized nothing about his product was able to be patented. he knew it was only a matter of time before the behemoth that is proctor & gamble would come in and push them off the shelves through the power of mass production. so the guy who makes softsoap had to come up with an ingenious plan to keep p&g off his back long enough to get into the national circuit of department stores. he then realized there was a patent on the dispensing pump itself. this doohickey here:
only two companies were allowed to manufacture the pump due to patent law. so what did he do? he bought 100,000,000 soap dispensing pumps from those two factories.
P&G couldn’t get into the market for years and softsoap became a household name. he then ended up selling to colgate for $61 million in 1987 in a true act of pettiness.