Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Liqwd, Inc. v. L'Oreal USA, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

April 25, 2019

LIQWD, INC. and OLAPLEX LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
L'ORÉAL USA, INC., L'ORÉAL USA PRODUCTS, INC., L'ORÉAL USA S/D, INC., and REDKEN 5TH AVENUE, NYC, L.L.C., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Joseph F. Bataillon, Senior United States District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge Fallon's Report and Recommendation, D.I. 430, regarding Plaintiff's Liqwd, Inc.'s (“Liqwd”) and Olaplex, LLC's (“Olaplex”) (collectively “Plaintiffs”) renewed motion for a preliminary injunction, D.I. 239, and Defendants' L'Oréal USA, Inc, L'Oréal U.S. Product, L'Oréal USA S/D, Inc., L'Oréal S.A., and Redken 5TH Avenue NYC, LLC (collectively “Defendants”) motion to strike the declaration of Nisha Mody, Ph.D., D.I. 266. The magistrate judge recommended granting Plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction and denying Defendants' motion to strike.

         I. Procedural History

         Plaintiffs brought this action alleging patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., misappropriation of trade secrets under Defend Trade Secrets Act and Delaware Trade Secrets Act, and breach of contract (specifically, a nondisclosure agreement (“NDA”)). D.I. 636, Third Amended Complaint. In particular, Plaintiffs argue that Defendants have infringed U.S. Patent No. 9, 498, 419 (the “'419 Patent”) owned by Plaintiffs. D.I. 240, at 1. Defendants have alleged they are not infringing Plaintiffs' patents, the patents are invalid, and Plaintiffs have engaged in false advertising and breach of contract. D.I. 650. The patents involve “Keratin Treatment Formulations and Methods” for hair care products. Olaplex filed the present action on January 5, 2017 against L'Oréal after dismissing a previously filed California case known as the “California Action, ” asserting causes of action for the alleged infringement of the '419 patent, misappropriation of trade secrets under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, misappropriation of trade secrets under the Delaware Trade Secrets Act, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. D.I. 2. On January 17, 2017, Olaplex filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, alleging that it had suffered and would continue to suffer irreparable harm unless L'Oréal's infringement was enjoined. D.I. 14.

         At the beginning stages of the case, Plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction, D.I. 14, which was denied by Judge Robinson. D.I. 135. The order denying the motion was appealed to the Federal Circuit. D.I. 136. The Federal Circuit vacated the denial of the preliminary injunction and remanded to the district court for further proceedings. D.I. 176, Ex. 1. The motion was referred to Magistrate Judge Fallon on April 4, 2018 and the motion was later terminated on April 27, 2018. Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint which this Court granted. D.I. 234. Defendant previously filed a motion to dismiss. D.I. 66. The Court denied the motion to dismiss. D.I. 234. Upon the motion being terminated, Plaintiffs made a renewed motion for preliminary injunction. D.I. 239. Plaintiffs accompanied their renewed motion with a declaration submitted by Nisha Mody, Ph.D., D.I. 243. Defendants filed a motion to strike Dr. Mody's declarations. D.I. 266.

         On October 15, 2018, the magistrate judge filed a report and recommendation which addressed the renewed motion for preliminary injunction and the motion to strike. D.I. 430. The magistrate judge recommended granting the motion for preliminary injunction and denying the motion to strike. Id. After the report and recommendation was issued, Defendants filed an objection. D.I. 468. Additionally, Defendants have filed two motions to reopen and supplement the record relating to the renewed motion for preliminary injunction. D.I. 469 and D.I. 604.

         II. Legal Standard

         The standard of review for a report and recommendation is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b). The district court “shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made” and “may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Similarly, Rule 72(b)(3) requires de novo review of any recommendation that is dispositive of a claim or defense of a party.

         The Supreme Court has construed the statutory grant of authority conferred on magistrate judges under 28 U.S.C. § 636 to mean that nondispositive pretrial matters are governed by § 636(b)(1)(A) and dispositive matters are covered by § 636(b)(1)(B). Gomez v. United States, 490 U.S. 858, 873-74 (1989); see alsoFed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). Under subparagraph (B), a district court may refer a dispositive motion to a magistrate judge “to conduct hearings, including evidentiary hearings, and to submit to a judge of the court proposed findings of fact and recommendations for the disposition.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); see EEOC v. City of Long Branch, 866 F.3d 93, 99-100 (3d Cir. 2017). The product of a magistrate judge, following a referral of a dispositive matter, is often called a “report and recommendation.” Id. “Parties ‘may serve and file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations' within 14 days of being served with a copy of the magistrate judge's report and recommendation.” Id. (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2)).

         “If a party objects timely to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the district court must ‘make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.'” EEOC, 866 F.3d at 99 (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)).

         III. Plaintiffs' Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction

         a. Legal Standard

         “[A] preliminary injunction is a drastic and extraordinary remedy that is not to be routinely granted.” Intel Corp. v. ULSI Sys. Tech., Inc., 995 F.2d 1566, 1568 (Fed. Cir. 1993). Although injunctions are not specific to patent cases, under 35 U.S.C. § 283, a court may grant injunctions in patent cases “in accordance with the principles of equity to prevent the violation of any right secured by patent.” To receive an injunction, a movant must establish: (1) a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits; (2) irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction; (3) that the balance of equities tips in the movant's favor; and (4) that the injunction is in the public interest. Titan Tire Corp. v. Case New Holland, Inc., 566 F.3d 1372, 1375-76 (Fed. Cir. 2009). Although the court must balance each of these factors before granting a motion for a preliminary injunction, “a movant cannot be granted a preliminary injunction unless it establishes both of the first two factors, i.e., likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm.” Amazon.com Inc. v. Barnesandnoble.com, Inc., 239 F.3d 1343, 1350 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (citing Vehicular Techs. Corp. v. Titan Wheel Int'l, Inc., 141 F.3d 1084, 1088 (Fed. Cir. 1998)).

         b. Discussion

         In their renewed motion for preliminary injunction, Plaintiffs argued that a preliminary injunction was warranted because (1) Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of the case; (2) they would likely suffer irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction; (3) equities favored the Plaintiffs; and (4) public interest supported the injunction. D.I. 240, at 10 (citing Titan Tire Corp, 566 F.3d at 1375-76). First, Plaintiffs argued that they are likely to succeed on the merits of the case. Id. This argument is primarily based upon the declarations of Dr. Edward Borish. Id.; D.I. 16; D.I. 242. Dr. Borish conducted a “detailed element-by-element infringement analysis” and concluded that Defendants' products (Matrix Bond Ultim8 Step 1 Amplifier, Redken pH-Bonder #1 Bond Protecting Additive, and L'Oréal Professional Smartbond Step 1 Additive (the “Accused Products”) met each element of claim 1 of the ‘419 Patent. D.I. 240.

         Second, Plaintiffs argue that they would suffer irreparable harm should the injunction not be granted. D.I. 240, at 18. Plaintiffs have presented the Supplemental Declaration of Dr. Nisha Mody to support this argument. Dr. Mody stated that the L'Oréal products which are accused of infringement will ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.