L'Oreal -- and its brand, Skinceuticals -- are taking indie brand Drunk Elephant to court over a vitamin C serum.
L'Oreal is suing for patent infringement -- stating that Drunk Elephant has allegedly infringed US patent number 7,179,841, called “Stabilised ascorbic acid compositions and methods therefor”, through the sale of a serum, according to the WIPR.
The companies will battle over the similarity of Drunk Elephant's C-Firma Day Serum -- and a patent held by Skinceuticals. C-Firma Day Serum contains an antioxidant complex of 15% l-ascorbic acid, 0.5% ferulic acid and 1% vitamin E. It retails for $88 for 30 ml.
Skinceuticals markets the cult-favorite CE Ferulic serum also includes vitamin C, ferulic acid, and vitamin E -- mixed in a specific concentration and at a specific pH, reports Vox. It is in a dropper bottle.
The lawsuit states, “The C-Firma product(s) can only be used in a manner that infringes the ‘841 patent, and on information and belief, have been used by Drunk Elephant’s customers in a manner that directly infringes one or more claims of the ‘841 patent.”
In a statement to Vox, L'Oreal's reps say: "We believe that the scientific inventions which make our products so innovative are a strategic and competitive advantage and we are committed to protecting our valuable intellectual property."
The infringement is due to the fact that, as The Fashion Law explains: "C-Firma Day Serum contains a specific “single-phase solution composition" of a cinnamic acid derivative selected from p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, caffeic acid, sinapinic acid; cis and trans isomers; an alkanediol; and water and mirrors that of L’Oreal’s patent-protected composition."
L’Oréal is seeking a permanent injunction, as well as damages that include costs and an accounting of all infringing sales. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday, November 14 at the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division.
Photos above: Drunk Elephant's product, C-Firma Day Serum; and Skinceutical's CE Ferulic Serum
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