L’Oréal Just Lost This Major U.K. Lawsuit

Bleached hair repair system, Olaplex, just won a major court battle against beauty retail giant, L’Oréal, in the U.K. this week.

Although there are tons of bonding treatments on the market, L’Oréal’s and Olaplex are arguably the most popular. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian West and Drew Barrymore swear by the three-part Olaplex system to protect and repair damaged, blond hair.

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"In 2015, seeing Olaplex’s tremendous success in the marketplace, L’Oréal sought to acquire the company with Olaplex, sharing in good faith confidential information," said a statement released by Olaplex. "L’Oréal ceased negotiation talks and less than a year later launched products that have now been demonstrated in the U.K. High Court to infringe Olaplex’s patented technology."

In November 2016, Olaplex filed an infringement lawsuit against L’Oréal in the U.K., claiming that it stole Olaplex’s patented technology for its No. 1 Bond Multiplier and used it for L’Oréal’s Smartbond Step 1 product.

As thrilled as Olaplex is with this outcome, L’Oréal plans to appeal the decision.

"We are pleased that the judge found in our favor that claims 1 to 10 of the Olaplex patent, are invalid," L’Oréal said in a statement to Allure. "However, we are disappointed to see that the judge upheld claim 11 of the patent." This specific claim, according to the judge’s findings, proved that the sole purpose of this technology is specifically used to reduce damage when bleaching.

On top of L’Oréal’s plans to appeal in the U.K., the conflict will also continue in the U.S. A hearing is scheduled to take place this month for patent infringements and misappropriation of trade secrets in Delaware.

With the court case in the U.K. won, Olaplex is seeking an injunction and hand-over of all Smartbond Step 1 stock. 

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