crocs inc v bata india pvt Ltd (2019 SCC OnLine Del 6808) - Synopsis


Crocs Inc USA filed a design infringement suit against various Indian footwear manufacturers. The alleged design referred to perforated and non-perforated shoe design. The said infringed design registration was valid until 2019.

Crocs’ claim against different manufactures for the same allegation were clubbed and presented before the Delhi high court where the major defendants were Bata India, Relaxo footwear Ltd, Coqui & others.

The appellant pleaded the court to restrain the defendant from manufacturing and selling the alleged design and to allow the said design to be used a trademark under the TRADEMARKS ACT, 1999

The respondent contended that the said design was available in the website of holy sole from 2002 and 2003 claiming the registration to be invalid one. The respondents further opposed the arguments of appellant that design cannot be used as trademark under the DESIGNS ACT, 2000.



1.Whether the plaintiffs design was in the public domain prior to registration or not?

2.Whether the design of the plaintiff footwear was new, unique and original.

3. Whether the registered design constitute a trademark.  



Since the alleged design lacks novelty and originality because of the prior publication of the design in various medium, the courtroom held that appellant cannot allege the infringement or piracy.

The court further agreed with the respondent’s argument that a registered design cannot constitute a trade mark, unless there are features other than those registered as a design and are shown to be used as a trade mark and with respect to which goodwill has been acquired.

The court imposed heavy fine upon the appellant which were to be paid to the respondents within 2 months of judgement.

That courts’ action against CROCS Inc is a major warning for those MNCs who uses the loopholes of law and make the local company suffer losses.


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