Crocs Inc (CROX) lost a patent battle last week that could act as a catalyst for the beleaguered footwear brand's eventual demise, the New York Post reported.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the shoemaker's infringement argument, saying Crocs' design isn't original and that another company applied for a patent with similar design a year ahead of Crocs. Crocs told Footwear News it plans to appeal the decision.
This is a major hit for the company, which has spent years suing its rivals on claims they have infringed on Crocs' design. Most recently, Crocs launched a legal battle against USA Dawgs, which makes a lookalike shoe similar to Crocs' iconic colorful clog.
It's been a tough few years for Crocs outside the courtroom, too. The Colorado-based company has seen declining sales and announced it's shuttering 160 stores over the next two years. Revenue was down 3.3% in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2016.
Crocs stock traded up nearly 3.5% at Friday's close.
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