New Delhi: Crocs India, the local arm of US footwear retailer, on Monday began its arguments against Indian footwear brands Bata and Relaxo in the Delhi high court, accusing them copying its clog-styled shoes, which it said were its unique design.

The court of justice A.K. Pathak was presented with one sample each of Bata, Relaxo and Crocs shoes.

Calling it a case of obvious imitation, Akhil Sibal, senior counsel representing Crocs India said, “I am in the market since 2004 and have a formidable reputation in the market. Uniqueness of the product which is the selling point of the product is the look of the product."

He told the court that while both Bata and Relaxo claim to have been operative in the market since 2011 and 2009 respectively, they had both failed to prove them either through invoices or advertisements from that period.

Crocs India disputed the claim by Bata and Relaxo that the design is common to the trade.

Bata and Relaxo had claimed of prior publication of the design by citing an earlier judgment by the Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), Europe, where Crocs had admitted that they have been selling these shoes since 2002, before the design registration date 28 May 2004.

This was refuted by Crocs India, which alleged that such admission would no longer hold good as the matter was later settled in appeal and could not be used against them.

The court said an earlier injunction order against both Bata and Relaxo shall continue to be in force till the arguments are complete, fixing the next date of hearing on 4 November.

Close