Specialty foam producer Cellect LLC has launched a lawsuit against Crocs Inc., the producer of the popular Crocs line of clog-style footwear.
In a March 18 lawsuit, Cellect alleges Crocs is violating a polymer-blend patent taken out by a Cellect predecessor company and for which Cellect is the licensee. The patent covers the blending and crosslinking of polyolefin elastomers with single-site initiated polyolefins often called metallocene resins.
U.S. patent 5,932,659 covering the polymer blends was issued on Aug. 3 1999, a few years after metallocene resins were introduced. Cellect uses such blends to make flexible foams that replace conventional rubber elastomers in a variety of applications, the firm stated in a news release.
A Crocs spokeswoman said in a March 20 interview that her firm had no comment since it had not been served with the suit.
Crocs footwear is designed and manufactured for a range of ages. The Niwot, Colo., firm boasts on its Web site that its Croslite proprietary closed-cell resin used to make the footwear is ``a substantial innovation in footwear.''
``The Croslite material enables Crocs to produce soft, comfortable, lightweight, superior-gripping, odor-resistant shoes,'' the firm states. Crocs shoes are sold in more than 90 countries, according to the company. For the year ended Dec. 30 Crocs logged sales of $847.4 million and net income of $168.2 million.
Cellect claims to be the only American-owned crosslinked foam company in North America. Its main manufacturing operation is at its headquarters in St. Johnsville, N.Y. Its main markets include medical devices, consumer products, military, automotive and industrial products. It has retained Jan Conlin of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP of Minneapolis to represent it in the litigation with Crocs.