The complaint claims that Crocs was able to obtain fraudulent patents on their shoe designs and then used those patents to prosecute competitors and set a high price for their own products.
USA Dawg’s complaint states that Crocs has an unfair monopoly over the market. As a result, consumers overpaid by more than $1 billion and the founders and directors of Crocs were unjustly enriched by more than $350 million collectively, according to a press release.
USA Dawgs case targets one of Croc’s original founders Scott Seamans, stating that he worked to defraud the U.S. Patent Office by falsely claiming he was the true inventor of the plastic clog shoe and its patent. According to a 2006 profile by Fast Times about the success of Crocs, Seamans first came up with the idea for Croc shoes in 2002 after coming across a clog shoe developed by a Canadian plastics company to be used in day spas. According to Fast Times, Seamans then modified the original Canadian design to include a strap across the heel and holes for ventilation.
“We are going to prove to the jury that Crocs invented nothing and their officers’ and directors’ entire business strategy was knowingly based on fraudulent patents that never should have issued and the sham litigation that followed,” state USA Dawgs CEO Steven Mann in a press release.
In response to the allegations filed by Dawgs, a representative with Crocs told Vamp, “We are aware of the complaint filed by USA Dawgs against certain current and former employees and board of directors of Crocs. The claims in this complaint are not new; they are essentially a repetition of the same unfounded allegations made against the Company since 2012 after it prevailed in its patent claims against various infringers. The complaint itself is a clear attempt to harass Crocs’ current and former employees and board members, and Crocs plans on vigorously defending the frivolous allegations that have been asserted.”