Crocs is hitting another footwear brand with a lawsuit accusing it of copying its designs, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
In a complaint filed in a California District Court on June 15, Crocs accuses Daiso, a popular Japanese dollar store with locations throughout the U.S., of producing and sell knock-off versions of its classic clog silhouette in an attempt “to free-ride and trade on the significant goodwill developed by Crocs through its innovative footwear.”
Crocs specifically takes issue with Daiso’s “Casual Sandals for Men” and “Lined Casual Clog” that it says bears certain protected marks that are owned by Crocs and therefore cause confusion in the marketplace. These Daiso products in question are made in China and imported into the U.S. and sell at retail for $3.00 to $3.50. Crocs says these shoes are “virtually identical to the design of Crocs’s three-dimensional design marks.”
“This infringement and dilution scheme is intended to confuse, deceive, and mislead consumers into drawing associations between Crocs and Daiso and their respective footwear products so that Daiso can enjoy unfair gains and profits at the expense of Crocs,” Crocs alleged.
FN has reached out to Crocs for a comment. Daiso could not immediately be reached for comment.
The filing marks the latest attempt for Crocs to curb copycat designs of its classic clog, a silhouette that has surged in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Last July, Crocs filed lawsuits against 21 companies for allegedly infringing on its trademarks. The defendants included Walmart Inc., Loeffler Randall Inc. and Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. as well as many lesser-known companies that sell online — or wholesale to retailers such as Walmart.
The suits, filed in several U.S. District Courts, followed Crocs’ complaint in June 2021 with the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) requesting an investigation into the unlawful import and sale of allegedly infringing footwear. The USITC voted in favor of pursuing the investigation.
Crocs landed a long-sought victory in September 2019 when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board held that the design patent for the Classic Crocs clog was valid. The patent had previously been rejected three times by the USPTO after a dispute was filed by one of Crocs’ competitors, USA Dawgs.