Crocs Inc. sued Skechers USA Inc., accusing it of selling knockoffs of its patented designs. But Skechers responded in a statement categorically denying all allegations, and called the lawsuit “nothing more than a never-ending attempt by Crocs to monopolize the molded footwear market by bullying competitors and customers and misusing the United States Patent Office and federal courthouse
The lawsuit by Crocs, filed in federal court in Denver, accuses Skechers of selling “confusing similar imitations” of its clog footwear designs that are fully patented and trademarked. The complaint also alleges that Skechers' Cali Bear logo, a depiction of a bear, infringes Crocs' Crocodile logo, particularly since it is positioned in the same spot on the shoes. Finally, Crocs claims that Skechers purposely ran a mobile campaign to promote the Cali clogs in Boulder, CO, where Crocs headquarters are located.
In response, Philip G. Paccione, general counsel and EVP of Skechers, in a statement called Croc's lawsuit “completely without merit.” Regarding the main charge, the designs at issue in this case, said Paccione, “are distinguishable from Crocs' patents and there is no possibility that anyone will be confused by the Skechers designs.”
On the charge that Skechers's Cali Bear mimics Crocs crocodile, “even a cursory review of the two animal marks demonstrates that the allegations are ridiculous,” said Paccione. He also noted that Skechers has had a loyal following in Colorado “long before Crocs even existed and we have an absolute right to” conduct mobile campaigns in the region.