US start-up Olaplex has successfully challenged the biggest cosmetics company in the world in a patent infringement case in the UK High Court, according to a report published by The Financial Times.
Olaplex launched its three-step hair bonding system in 2014 and was approached by L’Oréal the following year with an acquisition bid. According to the US hair care brand, L’Oréal thus gained access to the brand’s proprietary information, including the technology and chemistry behind the products. Shortly afterwards, the French beauty abandoned the purchase and instead launched its own Smartbond product, which Olaplex claimed infringes its UK patent, an allegation that was upheld by the UK court. US litigation is ongoing.
Olaplex’s lawyers, Hogan Lovells told the Financial Times in an email statement that a further hearing will be held to determine whether the court will grant an injunction against further sales of Smartbond.
“We strongly disagree with this decision, which is applicable in the UK, and we will be applying for permission to appeal,” a spokesperson for L’Oréal told the Financial Times in a statement.