Officials at Crocs Inc. this week downplayed last week's stunning decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which ruled against the company's patent for its trademark plastic clog shoe, calling the impact "greatly exaggerated in certain news reports."

The Niwot shoemaker (Nasdaq: CROX) was responding to headlines such as "Is the other shoe about to drop for Crocs?" (, "Crocs may lose its patent on ugly shoe designs," (, and "Crocs Could Be on the Brink of Extinction," (

Last week, the USPTO issued a final rejection on the validity of Crocs' design patent for its ubiquitous clog design, which was gleefully reported by Crocs rival U.S.A. Dawgs Inc. of Las Vegas, whose CEO Steven Mann said in a statement that"it is unfortunate that Crocs has been able to use this patent to suppress its competitors for so long. We have always been confident that, given a fair playing field, Dawgs would become a prominent competitor."

Not so fast, says Crocs, calling out some press accounts' "needlessly dramatic headlines" and vowing to appeal the decision.

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