Fashion Law Blog: Crocs Targets Rival Brand, Former Employee in Trade Secret Lawsuit

Crocs is waging a new trade secret lawsuit and in the process, it is adding another layer to a larger legal battle with a former employee who allegedly jumped ship to start a rival footwear company. According to the complaint that it filed in a Colorado federal court on July 6, Crocs claims that Kellen McCarvel is on the hook for the “misappropriation and use of [its] trade secrets and other proprietary and highly confidential business information that [he has] used without authorization to develop, manufacture, and market footwear products for the knockoff brand Joybees.” Both McCarvel and Joybees LLC are named as defendants in the new lawsuit.

Setting the stage in its complaint, Crocs claims that until 2018, McCarvel held a “midlevel management position” at Crocs, at which point he left to launch Joybees, bringing with him “a tranche of several thousand documents containing Crocs’s highly confidential and proprietary business information, as well as the contents of an entire Crocs email account that McCarvel has never returned to Crocs.” McCarvel “stole those documents and emails by downloading them onto a personal USB drive from a folder on his laptop he aptly named, ‘Take,’ which he then took when leaving Crocs the next day,” the company alleges. He then “used the stolen documents to build a rival shoe company, Joybees, to compete against [it].”

Crocs Targets Rival Brand, Former Employee in Trade Secret Lawsuit