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Crocs Trade Mark Infringement

Crocs Trade Mark Infringement

Fashionista-at-law reports the trade mark action brought against Crocs by Porsche over use of the name CAYMAN, which is one of Crocs’ best selling brands.

The dispute arises because Porsche has a European Community Trade Mark for CAYMAN which among other things includes footwear as a classification.   The relevant descriptions are:

Class 18:
Leather and imitations of leather, and goods made of these materials, as far as included in this class, particularly trunks, bags, small articles of leatherware; umbrellas, parasols.

Class 25:
Clothing, footwear, headgear, gloves and belts.

The trade mark was registered on  30 August 2005, so may not be open to attack on the grounds of non use.

Judging by the first three blog posts that I came across when searching for “crocs trade mark infringement” , such as herehere and here it is not widely appreciated that this is the reason it is so important to search a name on the trade mark registers before using it.  Doing google research is not enough, because it is possible to register a trade mark for a category of goods or services, and reserve that name for future use for up to 5 years.

What is more if your plans to use the name are delayed for more than 5 years, it is possible to avoid losing your rights to the name, by simply filing a fresh trade mark application.

Arguably, Crocs will benefit from the free publicity generated by the case.  It will raise brand awareness.  Did you even know that one of Crocs lines of footwear is called CAYMAN?  Now you do.  So even if they end up having to cease using the name Crocs will derive benefit from the action.  It doesn’t do them any harm that the reporting of the case seems to be focusing on how dissimilar Crocs shoes are to the Porsche, when really that is not what this case is about.