US: Columbia settles lawsuit against Crocs
The case, first filed seven months ago, has been settled
The case arose after Crocs hired a Columbia employee as an independent contractor while he was working for Columbia.
Columbia alleged claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, intentional interference with contract, and aiding and abetting the employee’s breach of his duty of loyalty to Columbia.
However, a statement said the parties have settled all issues between them relating to the engagement of the employee, and Columbia has dismissed all claims against Crocs in exchange for monetary and other considerations, which were not disclosed.
Crocs’ executive vice president, chief legal and administrative officer, Daniel Hart, said: "Crocs is pleased that we were able to resolve this dispute with Columbia. Crocs respects third party trade secrets, intellectual property and employment related obligations. We regret that Crocs retained a Columbia footwear designer to provide footwear design services to Crocs while he was also employed by Columbia."
Columbia’s senior vice president of legal and corporate affairs, Peter Bragdon, said: "Columbia prides itself on talent, product design and innovation. We will continue to aggressively protect our intellectual property rights."
Meanwhile, Columbia said it continues to pursue its separate claim against Brian O’Boyle, the former employee involved.
News of the potential court case first arose in August, but only O'Boyle was accused at that time.
An ammended filing in December included allegations about Crocs too though, saying the company had "actual knowledge" he was employed by Columbia.
Columbia claimed at the time that four models that O'Boyle helped design were still being sold by Crocs.
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