Crocs Snap at Competitors' Heels
What is it about crocodiles and fashion wars?
For years, Lacoste and Crocodile International have been battling over their respective croc logos.
Now, Crocs, the latest so-ugly-they're-cool comfort shoe company, is suing 11 competitors who have copied its perforated, slingback clog design. The colorful shoes, molded from a proprietary resin that boasts of being everything from non-slip to bacteria-resistant, were originally marketed as a boating/outdoor shoe and are now being worn by everyone from trendy teenagers to their grandparents.
Naturally, imitation follows success -- but Crocs was prepared, having applied for a number of utility and design patents, four of which issued in February and March (check out the drawing from patent no. D517,789 below). The market must love a good crocfight -- it responded positively to news of the lawsuits, which claim trade dress as well as patent infringement.
Now we'll just wait and see whether the claims have any teeth.