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A British court has ruled that L’Oréal violated a patent issued to start-up Olaplex for a product that protects hair during bleaching and coloring treatments. Olaplex says it is seeking an injunction from the court barring sale of L’Oréal’s competing Smartbond product. L’Oréal says it will appeal the ruling. University of California, Santa Barbara, chemist Craig Hawker and student Eric Pressley developed Olaplex’s active ingredient, a dimaleate, in Pressley’s garage. The British case and an ongoing U.S. case accuse L’Oréal of infringing on an alternative hair protector, maleic acid, that Olaplex also patented.
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