Crocs, Inc. announced its “disagreement” with the decision recently issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) relating to one of its design patents “as well as several subsequent and needlessly dramatic headlines” and said it plans to appeal the ruling.
Crocs, Inc said that in its ruling, the USPTO found the patent issued to Crocs in 2006, which covers the design of its Classic Clog, “to be invalid for technical reasons related to Crocs own early sales.”
Crocs said it will dispute this analysis in its appeal.
“The impact of this ruling has been greatly exaggerated in certain news reports,” said Daniel Hart, Chief Legal Officer at Crocs.
“We are confident in the appeals process and, moreover, we have plans in place to continue to protect our Classic Clog design well beyond the life of this particular patent.
“Crocs will continue to aggressively enforce our intellectual property portfolio against those who unfairly trade on Crocs’ goodwill and reputation.”
Crocs said the recent decision is “simply the next step in the administrative process, allowing Crocs to appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and eventually the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court that ruled in its favor in enforcement of the same patent during its successful International Trade Commission case.”
Crocs said the USPTO’s decision has no immediate or long-term material negative impact on Crocs’ business.
“Nor has Crocs’ business been adversely impacted over the last five years, since the USPTO first reexamined validity issues with regards to the patent,” added the company.
“It is important to note that the patent at issue remains valid and enforceable during the appeals process, which can take many years to complete.”