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Tuesday, 2 March 2004


This week's Sunday Telegraph carries a salutary article on the American talent for spotting an opportunity to spot a promising monopoly. The opportunity in question relates to the currently fashionable ugg boot, an Australian invention and, judging by its appearance, a hot fashion accessory if ever there was one. To Australians the ugg is a generic term, more a part of their rugged culture than a fashion statement. But Deckers, a Goleta, California-based company, is apparently cleaning up on the IP rights in the word mark UGG and has already stopped the sale of generic non-Deckers uggs on eBay. Deckers has now reportedly obtained trade mark rights for UGG in some 25 countries.

The IPKat observes that "ugg" is defined in that authoritative Australian work, the Macquarie Dictionary as "a fleecy-lined boot with an untanned upper". If this definition is anything to go by, it is likely that any infringement action brought by Deckers will be keenly defended. Meanwhile, he notes the complaints of indigenous Australian ugg-makers and takes comfort from the fact that it's not just poms who whinge...

Puss in boots here, here and here
Ugg and Eee here

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