Thursday, November 12, 2009

Porsche Sues Crocs Over Trademark Infringement

The Porsche Cayman is a sexy 2-seater sports coupe born of German engineering. The Crocs Cayman is a snug-fitting lightweight clog, allegedly modeled on “Italian design,” by Americans in Colorado. I understand if you were confused though, they’re practically identical!

Porsche, fearing consumer confusion and the dilution of their established brand, notified the clog manufacturer in May of their alleged infringement. In late July Porsche filed a trademark infringement suit against Crocs in a German court.

Crocs plans to “vigorously defend” themselves in German court. Footnoted expects the suit to be an “expensive distraction for Crocs, which had to find a law firm in Germany to represent its interests.”

Both brands' actions are considerably foolhardy. Porsche may be overreacting, assuming that consumers will associate a beach clog with their relatively young sub-brand and not a group of islands. Crocs could follow a more prudent method of settling; perhaps by removing or renaming the line in Germany. They do have more important struggles ahead of them, like turning a profit.

Do you think that brands help themselves by pursuing legal action in trademark cases? Especially when the products are so different?