Thursday, October 31, 2019

Patent fight over hair color

The fight is over hair color:

Plaintiff-appellant Metricolor LLC sued defendantsappellees L’Oréal S.A.,
L’Oréal USA, Inc., L’Oréal USA
Products, Inc., L’Oréal USA S/D, Inc., and Redken 5th Avenue NYC, LLC
(collectively, “L’Oréal” or “L’Oréal defendants”) in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California alleging various claims related to the
launch of two L’Oréal hair bonding products that allegedly
resemble the hair coloring system claimed in Metricolor’s
patent, U.S. Patent No. 9,301,587 (’587 patent).

There was a vacate and remand:

Because the district court did not address Metricolor’s
request for leave to amend the complaint, much less conduct an
analysis of whether any amendment would have
been futile, we vacate the district court’s grant of L’Oréal’s
Rule 12(b)(6) motion and remand for the district court to
address Metricolor’s request for leave in the first instance.

The CAFC gets into the "abuse of discretion" standard:

Though the “grant or denial of an opportunity to amend is within the
discretion of the [d]istrict [c]ourt,” “outright refusal to
grant the leave without any justifying reason appearing for
the denial is not an exercise of discretion.”

Merely taking an action, without justifying the action with a reason,
is an abuse of discretion.

Relevant to a recent NCIS: New Orleans episode (Spies and Lies) note the

We also agree with the district court that the complaint
failed to sufficiently plead any of Metricolor’s non-patent
claims of breach of contract, breach of confidence, federal
trade secret theft, and unfair competition under state law.
As the district court correctly found, the complaint did not
sufficiently allege any misuse of confidential information
beyond what was already disclosed in the published ’587
patent application

You can't "steal" information in a patent or published application.


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