Olaplex launched a collection of innovative hair restoration products in 2014. The key technology behind Olaplex products repairs broken disulfide bonds in hair. That’s why Olaplex is a go-to for stylists working to repair chemical, thermal, and mechanical damage, especially as a coloring step (because disulfide bonds are commonly broken during the bleaching step of the coloring process). It has become a useful tool.
Rather than address hair damage with silicones or protein treatments, Olaplex relies on a patented chemical known as bisaminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. In addition, the company also holds a patent for an alternative form of dimaleate.
In a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, the company alleges that L’Oreal sucked up people and knowledge, allowing L’Oreal to replicate the hair restoration process. Plex describes L’Oreal as follows: “We copied the revolutionary 3-step Olaplex system (including the patented technology in question) to protect hair during professional bleach treatments.”na
According to media reports, L’Oreal may have hired key figures from the Olaplex team. And they suggest that, as a distributor of Olaplex, through its salon-centric division, L’Oréal may have had at its disposal data and marking insights related to its product collection.L’Oréal and Olaplex There is also speculation that information regarding proprietary technology and formulations changed while the company was in acquisition talks.
The false advertising portion of the lawsuit alleges that: “The marketing images produced by L’Oreal are very similar to the marketing materials produced by Olaplex.” As noted by the Financial Times and multiple media outlets.
Just this month, the company launched a new product, the L’Oreal Professional Smart Bond.
As far as litigation is concerned, L’Oréal stands firm. The company has not admitted any infringement at this time and, in fact, does not recognize Olaplex’s patents. “We strongly object to the merits and validity of these claims, and L’Oréal USA vigorously defends this position.” As a company spokesperson told the press.