Beauty behemoth L’Oreal lost a High Court case today to a Californian start-up that makes a hair product used by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian.
Start-up Olaplex sued L’Oreal for infringing its patent for its Bond Multiplier hair lightening product.
Olaplex’s product has been used on celebrities such as actor Drew Barrymore, singer Jennifer Lopez and model Chrissy Teigen.
The product aims to protect hair during lightening treatment and was launched by Olaplex in 2014.
L’Oreal launched a competing product, Smartbond, in 2015.
The court found that L’Oreal’s Smartbond product did infringe Olaplex’s UK patent.
There will be a separate hearing to decide whether to grant an injunction against further sales of L’Oreal’s Smartbond.
There is also litigation taking place in the USA between Olaplex and L’Oreal.
A L’Oreal UK spokesperson said: “We strongly disagree with this decision, which is applicable only in the UK, and we will be applying for permission to appeal. Therefore, as legal proceedings remain on-going, we will not be commenting further at this time.”
Law firm Hogan Lovells is acting for Olaplex and Baker McKenzie is representing L’Oreal.