U.S. appeals court orders L’Oréal to face UMass skin-cream lawsuit 

U.S. appeals court orders L’Oréal to face UMass skin-cream lawsuit 

THE WHAT? A U.S. appeals court has ruled that L’Oréal SA is to face a patent lawsuit brought against it by the The University of Massachusetts and a Christian religious order over some of its skin cream brands. 

THE DETAILS According to a report by Reuters, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that a Delaware federal judge had incorrectly misconstrued part of UMass’ skin-cream patents when it found them invalid last year.

UMass and Carmel Laboratories filed a lawsuit against L’Oréal and its U.S. subsidiary in a Delaware federal court in 2017, stating that the company’s RevitaLift moisturizer, as well as unnamed products for Maybelline, Lancôme, and other L’Oréal brands, use UMass’ technology for skin creams with the chemical adenosine.

According to the lawsuit, Carmel Laboratories is a subsidiary of the Teresian Carmelites, a religious group that licenses the UMass patents to make Easeamine anti-aging face cream, with the proceeds of the sales supporting the groups’ charity work.

THE WHY? Despite adopting UMass’ proposed construction of the patents, the Delaware Court later found them to be too vague. 

However, the Federal Circuit has now reinstated the patents, finding them to cover a specific amount of adenosine applied to the skin’s surface.

The appeals court stated its decision ‘eliminates an important premise’ of the invalidity ruling, sending the case back for further proceedings. 

In further developments, the Federal Circuit rejected L’Oréal’s request to rule that it did not infringe, as well as giving UMass and Carmel a fresh change to argue that France-based L’Oréal SA should have to face the case in addition to L’Oréal USA Inc.

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