Crocs Wins Legal Victory in Years-Long Patent Battle With USA Dawgs

Crocs just secured a legal win years in the making.

The clog maker on Wednesday announced that it had secured a judgment of infringement against USA Dawgs and Double Diamond Distribution after both companies sold Crocs imitations. Crocs won $6 million and $55,000 in damages.

The news comes as a result of a years-long battle between the two shoe companies. Crocs sued USA Dawgs’ Canadian affiliate Double Diamond in 2006 for patent infringement on its clog designs. Crocs amended that complaint in 2012 and added USA Dawgs as a defendant.

“We are fiercely protective of the Crocs brand and our iconic DNA. We have zero tolerance for infringement of our intellectual property rights or for anyone who tries to benefit off the investments that we have made in our brand,” said Crocs EVP and chief legal and risk officer Daniel Hart in a statement. “This judgment not only reinforces the validity of our patent rights, it also reinforces our unrelenting determination to take forceful steps to protect our brand equity.”

Crocs been embroiled in various legal battles with Dawgs for the last 15 years. In 2017, Dawgs alleged that Crocs infringed on its Z-strap sandal style and violated computer fraud laws that helped remove Dawgs’ products from Zulily, a QVC-owned site.

At the time, Crocs said the complaint was “another attempt to harass Crocs and disrupt its business” with claims that were “unfounded and without merit.” Dawgs voluntarily dismissed these claims and its attorneys were sanctioned for bringing frivolous claims.

In August 2016, Dawgs accused 18 former and current Crocs employees and directors of violating antitrust laws to help Crocs have an unfair advantage in the clog market. Judge Brimmer dismissed most of these claims in 2017.

Dawgs filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and was acquired by California-based Optimal Investment Group, which then sold Dawgs’ ongoing litigation assets with Crocs to Mojave Desert Holdings LLC. Mojave could not immediately be reached for comment.Crocs is known for taking legal measures to prevent copycat products. Last July, the company filed lawsuits against 21 companies allegedly infringement on its trademarks. The defendants include 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.
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