Friday, August 21, 2009
Here we have a number of variations on everyone's favorite form of ethylene vinyl acetate footware, Crocs. However, despite the fact that you can decorate your Crocs with flowers and peace signs, in the litigation context, it is apparently not all love and harmony if you mess with the makers of Crocs footware. Australia Unlimited has recently surivied a three-year legal battle with Crocs, which its President refers to as "Goliath." Australia Unlimited markets shoes (NothinZ) that look somewhat like Crocs (take a peek here), with the important difference that the strap in the back of the NothinZ can easily be used as a slingshot.
According to the Daily Camera Online,Crocs filed a claim with the International Trade Commission in 2006 alleging that Australia Unlimited and 10 other companies were infringing on its patents. Crocs then settled with Australia Unlimited in August 2006 but later filed a suit in federal district court alleging that Australia Unlimited was about to release a new shoe that violated the agreement. Tia Mattson, a Crocs spokeswoman, hoping to get more publicity for her company on the ContractsProf Blog, stressed that the recent settlement between the two companies effectively ends a conflict over an alleged breach of contract and did not involve intellectual property issues.
As Ms. Mattson put it, "I do want to clarify that the lawsuit is not one based on intellectual property. This was a lawsuit derived from a contract dispute and we (Crocs) are pleased with the final resolution."