Published Date : May 17, 2016
Footwear manufacturer Crocs Ltd. had been given a favourable ruling by a court in China regarding its legal dispute with China-based footwear manufacturer Jinjiang Jinsike Footwear. The case has now been selected by the Supreme People’s Court in China as one of the top 50 IP cases of 2015. The judgement had recognized that Crocs’ design imitated by JSK would confuse customers. This judgement will prevent any other regional competitors in China from imitating Crocs’ design. The company had been advertising and selling its shoes in the country since 2006.
The judgement is significant as it awards legal protection to the company in terms of accepting that the shape of its manufactured products is linked to its brand identity. Crocs is known for its foam clog shoes and has been involved in a number of legal disputes over intellectual property rights. China is a particularly difficult region for the U.S. companies to protect their trademarks as they are often faced with competition from local players who imitate their product designs and sell the imitated products at cheap prices, thereby affecting the profit margins of the larger brands.
China Drives Demand from Global Footwear Market
In the global footwear market, Asia Pacific has emerged as one of the potential regions with growing demand from China. In fact, China is the leading country in the Asia Pacific footwear market in terms of revenue and volume. The rapid growth of the footwear market in China can be attributed to the rise in purchasing power of consumers, growing fashion consciousness, and product innovation. Further, the availability of cheap labour in China reduces the manufacturing cost of the key market players. Hence, China is fast emerging as a key market for global footwear market.