Ugg on Aussie, ugg on, ugg on
Aussies’ favourite, the ugg boot, is about to stomp into court, with Australian retailers and manufacturers planning a multi-million dollar class action case against a US company.
The “Save our Aussie icon” fund is to take on California-based firm, the Deckers Corporation, and more than 30 ugg retailers are trying to raise $250,000 to help the fund. Last year, Deckers threatened hundreds of Australian manufacturers with legal action to stop them using the name ‘ugg’ or ‘ugh’ boots.
Tony Mortel, a Newcastle maker of ugg boots, whose father also made them in 1958, said there were legal moves to have Deckers’ ugg trademark deregistered in Australia.
“At the moment we are trying to find a lawyer who will take on the case for a percentage of the compensation,” he said.
Mortel also noted that Australians were being booted out of the international market by Decker, adding that while “we” used to advertise over the internet, that is not now possible. “What they are doing is market control of the highest degree,” he said.
Filling up the blue sky
Here at Folklaw we try to keep out of legal rights and wrongs, mainly because we cater to what we think must be the most litigious audience around, but also because we usually wouldn’t have a clue. But, we thought questions about the legality of an enormous banner the size of a football pitch being helicoptered around Sydney of late were worth putting in print. Colleagues, friends — and, admittedly, some of us — have been wondering if this is not sight pollution, or cloud intrusion, or worse, inspiration prevention. The thinking is that when you look into the great blue sky in search of something that is not man-made, you are now unable to find it.