Crocs and Joybees, two footwear companies, are currently embroiled in a legal battle over corporate trade secrets, intellectual property, and market competition.
Both companies have filed lawsuits against each other in a federal court in Colorado. Crocs was the first to file a complaint, accusing Joybees of engaging in unfair competition. The very next day, Joybees responded by filing a similar complaint against Crocs, claiming that Crocs was trying to monopolize the market for “injection-molded clogs.”
In its counterclaim, Joybees alleged that Crocs was abusing its market power through exclusive and conditional business practices. Joybees also sought a declaration stating that its shoes did not infringe upon Crocs’ intellectual property rights.
These recent filings are a continuation of an ongoing feud between the two footwear brands. The conflict began in 2021 when Crocs initially sued Joybees, accusing Kellen McCarvel, the former employee of Crocs who later became the CEO of Joybees, of stealing proprietary information upon his departure.
Crocs’ latest lawsuit expands upon this claim, alleging additional theft related to specifications, standards, and testing methods that dictate the quality and performance of the shoe material.
According to the lawsuit, Joybees allegedly recruited former and current employees of Crocs to produce footwear using a similar manufacturing process, attempting to ride on the coattails of Crocs’ success.