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Sunday, December 10, 2017

UGG Trademark is Complicated

We don't learn something new every day, but it is nice when we do.  To be honest, I had been a bit confused but the following helps a bit.  If you are curious about the brand name you may find the following to be of interest.

In 1971, Shane Steadman registered the trademark UGH-BOOT on the Australian Trade Mark Registry, and obtained an Australian registration for UGH in 1982 (yes, that is spelled with an "H"). These registrations remained valid in Australia until removed for non-use in 2006.   Steadman sold his UGH brand boots widely in Australia throughout the 1970s and 1980s.  This registration was subsequently sold to Ugg Holdings Inc. in early 1995. In August 1995, Deckers Brands purchased Ugg Holdings, and in 1999 registered Ugg Holdings trademarks, including the UGG AUSTRALIA label (with sun-like device), in Australia. However, attempts by Deckers to stop other traders using the "UGG" mark in Australia led to a decision by IP Australia that "UGG" is a generic term in Australia and New Zealand to which Deckers did not have trade mark rights. Nevertheless, Deckers holds registrations for the UGG trademark in the United States, China and over 130 other countries.
The manufacture of ugg boots in Australia was primarily a cottage industry. Individually lacking the resources to fight Deckers, 20 Australian manufacturers formed the Australian Sheepskin Association to fight the corporation's claim, arguing that "ugg" is a generic term referring to flat-heeled, pull-on sheepskin boots.  They further argued that Australian manufacturers had been making and trading this style of boot for decades, including exporting them to the US. One of these manufacturers, Perth's Uggs-N-Rugs, who had been manufacturing uggs since 1978 and selling them online since 1996, appealed to Australian trademark regulators, IP Australia.  The officer who heard the case stated that the "evidence overwhelmingly supports the proposition that the terms (ugg, ugh and ug boots) are interchangeably used to describe a specific style of sheepskin boot and are the first and most natural way in which to describe these goods." In 2006 Uggs-N-Rugs won the right to use the term UGG BOOT/S and variations such as UGH BOOT/S.

Deckers retained the rights to their UGG logo as trade mark protection only applies for the way the mark appears in its entirety and not for the words it contains. The name Ugg/UGG was determined to be generic after the Registrar of Trade Marks found that registration did not confer "rights in the generic term, or terms, from which it is derived" and that the identity of the various trade marks "derive from the hyphenated nature of the expression." Therefore, UGH boots, UG boots and UGG boots ("or other variations") without hyphens are all generic terms in Australia. IP Australia also ruled that the trademark "UGH-boots" (with hyphen) should be removed from the trademark register for non-use as Deckers had only been using the UGG logo, not the UGH marks.

Note: above is only a "portion" of the history.  If you are interested in this subject, you should do additional research.

If you are looking for authentic UGG boots in the United States, please visit https://www.ugg.com to purchase UGG Australia brand footwear.

You may also have interested in learning more about Deckers Brands here on Apparel Search to learn more about this footwear company.

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