29 Sep Dawgs Sues Crocs for Monopolistic Conduct
Dawgs Inc. has sued Crocs Inc. for its alleged anti-competitive actions and “actual monopolization of the market for ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) fully molded ventilated clog-type casual shoes in the United States” that has prevented Dawgs from selling to major retailers and distributors.
In the complaint, Dawgs alleges Crocs possesses a market share exceeding 90 percent of the market.
“Crocs has monopolized, or at least attempted to monopolize, the market for EVA clog-type footwear products by first accumulating a number of patents, no matter how weak or narrow, and then asserting these patent rights far beyond the narrow scope of the actual patent claims through instituting a series of sham lawsuits in order to slowly litigate its competition out of the market. These ill-founded, bad-faith patent infringement actions, and other accompanying anticompetitive conduct, constitute violations of the antitrust laws.”
Dawgs said it has developed, manufactured, and sold a line of competing and significantly lower-priced EVA clog footwear products. But it accuses Crocs of engaging in several anti-competitive and monopolistic acts, including knowingly obtaining fraudulently procured patents; use of knowingly sham patent litigation; knowingly using sham patents to secure a General Exclusion Order preventing the importation and sale of competitive products; and threatening or actually refusing to deal with distributors or others carrying Dawgs’ footwear products.
The complaint reads, “As a consequence of Crocs’ conduct, competition in this product market has been suppressed and virtually eliminated, and consumers in this market have suffered a loss of choice and consumers have been required to pay higher, supracompetitive prices for EVA clog-type footwear to Crocs than would otherwise be the case in a properly functioning and competitive market. Plaintiff Dawgs, the competitive market, and American consumers have suffered antitrust injury by reason of Crocs’ unlawful, exclusionary, and trade-restraining conduct.”
Dawgs is seeking that Skechers anticompetitive and exclusionary conduct be permanently enjoined as well as treble damages it has sustained. It is requesting a jury trial.
The lawsuit – case number 2:14-cv-01461 – was filed in the U.S. District Court District of Nevada.