Knock it off: Crocs sues stores for selling copycat versions of clogs

Crocs wants big box stores to knock off the knockoffs.

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The shoemaker filed four trademark infringement lawsuits last week in several U.S. District Courts against 21 companies, alleging they are violating its trademarks and other intellectual properties, CNN reported.

In one of the lawsuits, filed by Crocs Inc. in the U.S. District Court in Colorado against Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Loeffler Randall, the company alleged that Walmart is selling copycats of its foam clogs, which cost about $50 a pair, at lower prices, MarketWatch reported.

In the same 108-page lawsuit, Crocs alleged that Hobby Lobby’s $12 “white foam clogs ladies shoes” were a knockoff of its original clog shoe, the website reported.

The suit also alleged that an “Ezra Black Rubber Clog” from Loeffler Randall was a copycat shoe of its clog, according to CNN.

Neither Walmart nor Hobby Lobby responded to requests for comment, Fortune reported. Loeffler Randall did not respond to CNN’s request for comment, and the remaining companies have not responded to the Crocs complaints.

Crocs said in its complaint filed in Denver that a “rise in consumer online shopping has enabled the sale of infringing footwear on an unprecedented scale,” Fortune reported. In a separate filing, Crocs asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to issue an import ban of shoes that copy its trademarked name or designs, the magazine reported.

According to court documents, Crocs alleged the copycats infringed on the company’s “iconic design marks,” including the “3D” shape and holes in the footwear, MarketWatch reported.

“Crocs has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm to its goodwill and reputation,” the complaint stated.

“I think they’re making a statement with some of the big retailers that, ‘You’re coming too close,’” Leah Evert-Burks, an industry fellow at Michigan State University’s Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection, told Fortune.

Crocs has had to fight to protect its brand before.

In 2011, the company won a blanket-order ban from the ITC on imports of knockoffs, Fortune reported. The ITC ruled that a design patent and a utility patent on making the shoes had been infringed.

Double Diamond Distribution Ltd. and U.S.A. Dawgs Inc. appealed the case, but the request was denied in April 2018, Fortune reported.

Crocs was founded by three college friends in 2002, MarketWatch reported. The company reported record second-quarter revenue on Thursday.