The Ugg Boot Controversy in Australia
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Case Code : BENV020
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2003-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Deckers Outdoor Corporation
Industry : Footwear
Countries : Australia, USA
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
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The existence of sheepskin boots in Australia can be traced back to the 1800s, when European colonists settled in Australia began using sheepskin hides to make clothes and footwear. Over the decades, the sheep industry grew in Australia...
Ugg Travels to America
In 1971, Shane Stedman (Stedman), a surf champion in Australia, decided to capitalize on the popularity of Uggs among Australians and US tourists. He registered the trademarks 'UGH-BOOTS'and 'UGH'in Australia in 1971 and 1982 respectively and began selling the boots under these names...
During the early 2000s, as the popularity of Uggs grew in US , the demand for them was so high that shoppers often had to return empty handed from the stores. Many of them then resorted to buying Uggs online...
Deckers claimed that its subsidiary Ugg Holdings owned the trademark 'Ugg'that had been trademarked in the US and also 'UGH'and 'UGH-BOOTS'which it had acquired from Stedman...
The Aussie Claim
As Deckers threatened legal action against Australian sheepskin
manufacturers, many Australian businesses faced difficulties through
loss of distribution outlets and sales despite having traded using the
name for decades...
The Legal Battle and Aftermath
As many as three applications were filed with IP Australia by Australian
manufacturers seeking the removal of Ugg trademarks owned by Deckers...
Exhibit I: Timeline of Events
Exhibit II: Types of Ugg Boots
Exhibit III: A Note on Deckers Outdoor Corporation
Exhibit IV: Deckers Outdoor Corporation Key Financials 2003-2007
Exhibit V: Ugg Australia-Footwear Line
Exhibit VI: Australian Ugg Boot Manufacturers
Exhibit VII: Brief on Trademark Laws in Australia