Cosmetics brand L’Oréal secured a patent infringement winyesterday at the English High Court.
L’Oréal had accused RN Ventures of infringing its patent and registered Community designs through the sale of a range of Magnitone electronic facial skin care devices, which use an oscillating circular head with rings of bristles arranged in concentric circles to deep-cleanse pores.
RN Ventures didn’t challenge the validity of the European patent (number 1,722,699 B1), instead arguing that the company had not infringed it. But it did argue that if the patent is infringed, then it is anticipated by or obvious in light of US patent application 2002/0156401 (Woog).
The ‘699 patent covers a “mechanical device suitable for the treatment of acne through the removal of sebum plugs from skin pores”, while Woog describes a “sonic therapeutic massaging cleaning and make-up application device”.
Mr Justice Henry Carr found that L’Oréal’s patent was not obvious in light of Woog and that RN Ventures had infringed claim 1.
At issue was the movement of the Magnitone devices. Stephen Franklin, a visiting professor at the University of Sheffield and an expert for L’Oréal, identified in his reports four types of movement he thought were exhibited by the bristle tufts of the Magnitone products.
As carried in ip