Crocs Inc., the maker of plastic clogs and flip flops, said eighteen Chinese counterfeiters were sentenced to more than 46 years in prison Friday for selling 128,752 knockoff pairs of Crocs.
Officials estimated the counterfeit Crocs seized were valued at 60 million renminbi, or about $9.6 million. Seventeen of the individuals were convicted of counterfeiting, and three of the 18 were convicted of offering bribes. In addition to jail time, the counterfeiters face fines totaling about 2,832,500 RMB or nearly $450,896.
The cases were tried by the Shanghai Yangpu District Court and the Dongguan City No. 1 District Court. Decisions were made between March 13 and September 27, 2012.
“If you attempt to produce or sell infringing Crocs products, we are going to find you and take definitive action to protect our intellectual property,” said Dan Hart, chief legal and administrative officer for Crocs. “The lengthy prison terms and heavy fines handed down in these cases show that Chinese authorities are very serious about assisting us to eradicate the production of counterfeit Crocs products in China, and so are we.”
Through September 2012, more than 600,000 pairs of counterfeit Crocs shoes have been confiscated through factory raids and customs seizures in China. According to the Niwot, Colo.-based shoemaker, this has resulted in 35 criminal actions, mainly in Guangdong, Shanghai and Fujiang Province.