Crocs Inc, is an American company, based in Colorado and was founded in 2002 by Scott Seamans, who originally marketed the footwear as a brand of foam-style clogs. It has since become a world leader in pioneering casual shoes for everyone, and aims to combine stylish shoes with comfort for the wearer, all at an affordable value and price. The majority of ‘Croc’ footwear contains Croslite™ material; moulded footwear technology that supposedly achieves unheard-of comfort in each step. The company, named FN’s 2020 Brand of the Year, now boasts partnerships and collaborations with celebrities like Justin Bieber, owner of the ‘Drew’ clothing company, and, DJ, Diplo, creating a marketing shift in the direction of more comfortable styles in the wake of the global pandemic. The footwear has also become increasingly popular with the teens of today, with many opting for them as their school shoes, rather than the traditional black-sole shoes.
With its quick rise to fame during the pandemic, also brings its cons as, according to Crocs Inc, over 21 companies have infringed on their registered trademarks and have, therefore filed lawsuits against each company. These include wholesale stores and retailers like, American-owned, Walmart and Hobby Lobby Stores Inc, as well as individual brands like Skechers.
The lawsuits have been filed in several U.S. District Courts, and each seek monetary damages for the violations of Crocs’ Intellectual Property Rights, specifically relating to three-dimensional Trademark rights. The Executive Vice President and Chief Legal & Risk Officer at Crocs, Daniel Hart, discusses in his statement that the legal actions being taken underscore their ‘determination to take forceful steps to protect their trademarks, as well as other intellectual property rights.’ He continued to explain that ‘it is essential that Crocs’ iconic DNA is protected,’ and that they will not tolerate the infringement of their Intellectual Property Rights, or those who try to ‘freeride ‘on the investments that they have made in order to create the brand.
The 21 recent lawsuits quickly follow complaints made by Crocs to the United States International Trade Commission (USITC), where they requested for an investigation to be conducted into the unlawful import and sale of allegedly infringing footwear. This was subsequently followed with the USITC voting in favour of the investigation being pursued, with the complaint possibly resulting in the prevention of the copy-cat style footwear from entering the country, as well as being sold by the various companies.
Be sure to keep an eye on Lawdit’s Reading Room for any updates regarding the above Infringement filings. If you have any questions regarding the information within this article, or would like legal advice and/or help surrounding an Intellectual Property matter, please do not hesitate to get in contact with the team at Lawdit Solicitors.