Crocs vs. Skechers Patent Lawsuit

Posted on July 28, 2008

Crocs has accused Skechers of patent infringement, unfair competition, trade dress and a host of other unpleasant things in a new lawsuit. Skechers is furious and has hotly responded to the allegations in a passionate press release.

Crocs says the Skechers' Cali Bear logo, which is a depiction of a bear, infringes Crocs' Crocodile logo. Skechers vehemently denies this allegation.

Philip G. Paccione, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Skechers, says in a statement, "We believe that this lawsuit is completely without merit and will vigorously defend ourselves against such baseless allegations. Among the outlandish allegations is that Skechers' Cali Bear logo is confusingly similar to Crocs' Crocodile logo, and that advertising Skechers' products in Boulder, Colorado somehow dilutes the value of Crocs' trademarks and appropriates Crocs' goodwill. Even a cursory review of the two animal marks demonstrates that the allegations are ridiculous.

"As far as advertising in Boulder, Colorado, Skechers has had a loyal following in Colorado long before Crocs even existed and we have an absolute right to do that. We believe that this lawsuit is 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. Skechers prefers to compete in the market place through the quality of its products and image."

Paccione also said in the release, "The designs at issue in this case are distinguishable from Crocs' patents and there is no possibility that anyone will be confused by the Skechers designs. Indeed, Skechers has many of its own design patents in the molded footwear category, including some covering the very styles at issue in this case. Moreover, Skechers footwear and packaging are prominently branded with the world famous Skechers name and trademarks at every turn, which Crocs conveniently ignores." image."

We haven't seen the shoes that Crocs claims is a blatant copy of its product. But from the tone of this press release, we don't think a settlement is happening anytime soon.

Update: A photo of the Skechers Cali Gear Gypsies slingback features Jibbitz like add-ons. This is looking quite Crocs-like. Wonder what a jury will say? Skechers uses a bear wearing sunglasses and not a crocodile for its logo.

Update: A Reuters report says Crocsa nd Skechers have settled the matter. Skechers will no longer make certain "molded footwear styles."

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