“UGGs are Deckers’ only”. After the first-degree conviction, Australian Leather’s manufacturing hub had appealed against the US-based giant. The mater at hand: the use of the term UGG to indicate a footwear type that has fur. According to the Australians, in fact, that specific type of boot is the nation’s symbol. In other words: the word “ugg” is a generic term. That’s why the ownership of the name by Deckers is being contested. But they didn’t win.
A long legal battle
The battle between Australian Leather and Deckers began in 2016, when Deckers Outdoor Corporation filed a lawsuit against Australian entrepreneur Eddie Oygur. Mr. Oygur owns a family business, Australian Leather, that has been manufacturing UGG-like boots since the 90s. Australian Leather has about 40 employees and makes about 50,000 pairs of sheep-fur boots every year. Deckers, on the other hand, has registered the UGG brand in 1995 in 130 countries, among which is Australia.
450,000 US Dollars
The case has to do with the fact that Australian Leather began selling its “ugg boots” on the company’s website. That, according to the US giant, was unfair competition. Mr. Oygur, on the other hand, believes that “ugg” isn’t a term used exclusively for the branded product, but rather a term that describes a type of Australian boot. The belief was countered by a 450,000 USD fine that he was later forced to pay back, after having lost the first court battle.
UGGs are ours
Mr. Oygur though hasn’t stopped and decided to appeal the decision. This also didn’t go well. The US Court of Appeals for the Washington area denied the appeal on May 10th, 2021. The decision left Australian Leather’s legal team speechless, as explained by abc.net.au. Mr. Oygur spoke with the same news outlet and announced its intention of continuing the appeal process: “I have no choice but to take this to the Supreme Court of the United States”.