image: L'Oreal

image: L’Oreal

A former Roman Catholic monk found himself in the middle of a legal mass recently It is not what you think, though. Monk-turned-charity founder Dennis Wyrzykowski was the one initiating litigation against L’Oreal. He filed suit against the cosmetics giant in June in a Delaware federal court, alleging that the company was making unauthorized use of a patent-protected anti-aging wrinkle cream that he licensed from developers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and that his charity was selling to raise money for the less fortunate. 

According to Wyrzykowski’s complaint, L’Oreal had been denied patent protection for an anti-aging compound it developed because of its similarity to previously-patented cream developed by the team at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Having been denied patent protection, L’Oreal, argues Wyrzykowski, went ahead and began manufacturing creams using the anti-aging technology, anyway. 

According to the AP, “Wyrzykowski, who leads a religious charity known as the Teresian Carmelites in Millbury, Massachusetts, said in an interview Tuesday that he was selling the cream online for $65 per tube to support the Carmelites work with prisoners, drug addicts, and school children. He said the availability of the L’Oreal products decimated the Carmelites business.”

“For me, L’Oreal pillaged the poor, that’s what they did,” Wyrzykowski said.

“While we admire the purpose of the work these two organizations are doing together, we find no merit in these allegations,” L’Oreal said in an email Wednesday to The Associated Press. “We expressed this point of view in many conversations we had with the Teresian Carmelites and their outside legal advisers over the past two years.”