Why Columbia Sportswear Is Suing Crocs

December 10 2009, 11:08 AM
Eletro clogGerman car-maker Porsche isn't the only company that has a beef with Niwot-based shoe manufacturer Crocs. Columbia Sportswear Company is now pursuing legal action against its rival in a trade-secrets case, alleging one of its then-staff designers, Brian O'Boyle, double-dipped by making footwear for Crocs on the side, reports The Oregonian. Washington state-based Columbia says Crocs reaped $3 million in profits on four models that incorporate O'Boyle designs, including Electro clog (pictured) and the Prepair collection, paying O'Boyle $120,000 for the work. "We just can't allow a competitor to sneak in the back door to take advantage of the investment we made," says Peter Bragdon, general counsel and vice president for Columbia. The company is seeking $310,000 in damages and wants Crocs to halt sales of certain footwear and give up all related profits. O'Boyle, who no longer works for Columbia, has declined comment, citing the pending nature of the case. Crocs has not yet been prepared to comment.