Fired L'Oreal Lawyer Says Company Patent Push Was Only Cosmetic
Call it the case of "patent or perish." A lawyer formerly in charge of applying for patents in cosmetics company L'Oreal SA's U.S. office claims he was fired in December for refusing to make filings for dubious inventions just so the company could fill an annual quota. Steven Trzaska said in a complaint filed April 16 in Newark, New Jersey, that L'Oreal ordered him to apply for at least 40 patents last year to help fill a companywide global quota of 500 applications. The company sought to post on its cosmetics packaging that the contents were "patent pending."