Is Decker being UGG by suing small Aussi boot producers?

intellectual property rights


Most of us know UGGs come from Australia. So, it is puzzling to learn that Decker is suing Australian Leather for using the word to market ugg boots in overseas markets.

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UGG was trademarked in the US in 1984, before the boots with fluffy insides exploded on the global scene. Deckers acquired the US mark in 1995 and subsequently filed for registration in more than 120 countries outside of Australia and New Zealand. In the meanwhile in Australia, little did small proprietors know that UGG is not generic outside the country and qualifies for trademark protection.

intellectual property

It seems a bit unfair that Australian producers cannot retail their UGGs overseas, but Decker has a legitimate claim on the trademark and will likely prevail in court.

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Lesson learned:

Be vigilant about protecting your competitive advantage – at home as well as abroad. Anticipate growth and mark your territory via registration.

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