Dominican Republic: Crocs 3D registration challenged
There is a report in the INTA Bulletin about an interesting trade mark decision. In the case of Grupo Ramos, S.A. v. Crocs, Inc. the Registry ruled that a 3D trade mark registration for the shape of the Crocs shoe contravened the requirement that a trade mark must not consist of any of the following: the usual or regular form of the product; a shape that is necessary or imposed by the nature of the product; a shape that is functional or confers a technical advantage.
The arguments that had been put forward by the party seeking cancellation were that the shape is that of a typical ‘clog’, and that the holes confer a technical advantage related to ventilation. The decision went against Crocs, Inc., notwithstanding survey evidence that people associate the shape with the Crocs shoe, as well as details of similar 3D trade mark registrations in other parts of the world. An appeal has been filed, which means that for now the registration remains in force. We await the outcome with interest.