Beauty giant L’Oreal, owner of the SkinCeuticals brand, is suing newcomer Drunk Elephant in an alleged patent infringement.
The product under scrutiny is the brand’s C-Firma serum, which has been widely held as being a cheaper alternative to SkinCeuticals’ own vitamin C serum, CE Ferulic. The antioxidant and Vitamin C ingredients, scent, color and brands’ claims are the same for each product, but SkinCeuticals holds a patent for its formula. C-Firma, the Drunk Elephant version, is half the price of CE Ferulic.
One of beauty behemoth Sephora’s best sellers, US-based Drunk Elephant was launched in the UK in October this year and will soon expand into Asia. The skincare brand burst onto the scene in 2014, feted by beauty influencers and with a cult following on Instagram.
Implications for ‘dupes’
The outcome of the suit could have wider implications for the beauty industry which is rife with copycat products (affordable alternatives to favorite products and commonly known as ‘dupes’). L’Oreal is claiming damages and an injunction against Drunk Elephant to stop it producing its own version.