Australian boot maker Ugg loses US appeal
The call was part of a five-year legal saga involving Mr. Oygur and his company, both of which were sued by multi-billion dollar US firm Deckers in 2016 for selling 13 pairs of Ugg boots to the States. -United.
Deckers – a $ 13 billion shoe giant known for aggressively protecting its “UGG brand” – initially sought to seize Australian Leather’s stock of Ugg boots and freeze its bank accounts.
Mr. Oygur and Australian Leather fought back, obtaining evidence from experts around the world that the term “Ugg” – a particular style of sheepskin boot – was already a popular term in Australia in the 1960s. a generic term in the United States in the late 1960s, when Australian Ugg boots were exported there.
Deckers was unable to obtain the Ugg trademark in Australia and New Zealand, due to its wide recognition as an umbrella term.
But a lawsuit in the United States Federal Court in May 2019 found that Mr. Oygur and Australian Leather had infringed the Deckers trademark and fined them $ 643,000 for intellectual property infringement, as well as 3, $ 5 million in legal fees against them, in addition to their own legal costs.
His lawyers, including former Australian Senator Nick Xenophon, were confident after last week’s hearing before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington DC.
But overnight, they said they were “stunned” after the appeal was dismissed for no reason.
Mr. Oygur remained rebellious and pledged to continue his legal battle.
“I have no choice but to take this to the US Supreme Court,” Oygur said, urging the federal government to support him.
“It cost thousands of jobs in Australia because Ugg boots should be made here rather than overseas, where Deckers makes them.”
The appeals court was made aware of Australia Leather’s argument that a rule in US trademark law – the foreign equivalents doctrine – meant that Deckers should not have been able to file Ugg in the US decades ago.
Deckers argued that the doctrine was irrelevant because Americans did not recognize Ugg as a descriptive term, but only as a brand name.