Move over, Gucci and Forever 21. The U.S Patent and Trademark Office has its hands full with more than the fight on stripes. For the last five years, Crocs has been in dispute with its prime competitor, USA Dawgs, over which company owns the design patent that both use for their products. Now, it seems like our days of wearing the ugly/cute shoes could be numbered.
According to Footwear News, on Friday, the Trademark office issued the final rejection of the patent for Croc Inc.’s shoes, ruling that another company filed for a similar patent a year before Crocs did, shutting down the company’s belief that USA Dawgs was ripping off its shoes. On Saturday, Crocs Inc. announced that it would be appealing the decision and would continue to fight for its right to create the plastic-mold shoes.
“This is the same court that previously ruled in Crocs’ favor in its enforcement of the same patent during its successful International Trade Commission case,” a Crocs spokesperson told Footwear News. “Crocs is confident that the appeals process will result in a favorable ultimate outcome and allow it to continue to use this design patent, along with its many other intellectual property rights, to defend its iconic products well into the future.”
The New York Post, however, isn’t so sure about that, calling this new development a “major blow” to Crocs. Despite efforts to fashion-fy its offering with collaborations with brands like Christopher Kane, the company is set to close 160 stores over the next two years; revenue has continued to decrease year over year.