Crocs and rival footwear maker Joybees clash over trade secrets in US court

Crocs and rival footwear maker Joybees clash over trade secrets in US court



Footwear makers Crocs


​Crocs sued Joybees in federal court on Thursday, expanding on a separate lawsuit that the Colorado-based company filed in 2021. The new complaint, accusing Joybees and its chief executive of unfair competition, came a day after Joybees filed claims in the same court against Crocs.

In its counterclaims, Joybees asserted that Crocs was trying to monopolize the market for “injection-molded clogs,” in violation of U.S. and state antitrust law. Joybees alleged Crocs was abusing its monopoly power through “exclusive and conditional dealings” that had cost the company more than $1.6 million in annual revenue.

Joybees also said it was seeking a declaration that its shoes had not violated Crocs’ intellectual property protections.

Lawyers for Joybees and a representative of the Denver-based company did not immediately respond to messages on Friday requesting comment.

Crocs said in a statement on Friday it will “protect and defend its intellectual property and proprietary information against third party theft and abuse.”

Last year, Crocs reported revenue of $3.6 billion, and the company’s website said it has sold more than 850 million pairs of shoes since 2002.

Crocs first sued Joybees in 2021, and that case is pending in Colorado federal court.

The lawsuit alleged Kellen McCarvel, a former Crocs employee and now CEO of Joybees, had unlawfully taken proprietary information after his departure. Joybees’ lawyers deny the allegations.

McCarvel did not immediately respond to a message on Friday seeking comment.

Crocs’ new lawsuit said it concerned alleged theft of information concerning “specifications, standards and test and audit methods that dictate the quality and performance of the shoe material.”

Joybees, according to Crocs’ lawsuit, hired key operations and manufacturing employees from Crocs.
Joybees, the complaint said, was attempting to “piggyback off of the success of the Crocs brand by unfair and illegal means.”

In their counterclaims, attorneys for Joybees accused Crocs of anticompetitive behavior and said “consumers have been deprived of the full benefits of competition,” including “choice, quality, and innovation.”

The cases are Crocs Inc v Joybees LLC, U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, 1:23-cv-01719-NRN and 21-cv-02859-PAB-MEH.

For Crocs: Suneeta Hazra of Arnold & Porter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *