Every year, millions of people in Texas and across the country use products manufactured and distributed by L'Oreal. Recently, a smaller company called Olaplex LLC filed a patent law claim against the cosmetics giant, accusing it of infringing on Olaplex's patents and making false claims in its advertising. In 2015, the two companies were engaged in discussions regarding L'Oreal taking over Olaplex's operations.
Olaplex claims that during that time, L'Oreal had access to hair care technology patented by LiQWD, which is Olaplex's professional hair care marketing division and also a plaintiff in the lawsuit. The patents in question are for a hair bleaching method that includes proprietary bond builders designed to protect an individual's hair during the bleaching process. This process can cause extensive damage to hair, but it is claimed that the patented bond builders allow hair to be bleached more often.
Using the hair treatment helps to repair the damage bleaching, permanent wave treatments and other hair-coloring products cause. Olaplex claims that L'Oreal's Smartbond system for coloring and bleaches, among other bond building treatments, violate the patents owned by LiQWD. The suit also alleges issues with L'Oreal's marketing of Redken ph-Bonder and Matrix Bond Ultim8. It will be up to the courts to determine whether Olaplex's claims have merit.
Like Olaplex, many Texas inventors could find themselves up against larger corporations. They rely on patent law to protect their rights, but it does not always prevent other companies from misappropriating information and infringing on patents. If a patent holder suspects that this is happening, it would be beneficial to discuss it with an attorney who can outline his or her legal rights and remedies and suggest a course of action.
Source: ipwatchdog.com, "L'Oreal targeted in patent infringement suit by CA-based startup over bond building hair treatment products", Steve Brachmann, Dec. 9, 2016