Ugg boots have been a featured player in many popular magazines and runway shows. These boots, which are made from sheep’s skin and wool, may look like a strictly winter item, however, when Hollywood and celebrity icons started wearing them, they quickly caught on as a year-round fashion item. While the popularity of this boot style has faded in and out in the context of the history of shoes, the controversy over the term “ugg” continues to this day.
The Beginning of the Ugg
Ugg boots are sheepskin boots that have a tanned leather outer, a fluffy, wool liner and usually a synthetic sole. The terms “ugg,” “ug” and “ugh” have been used to describe this type of boot for decades. While ugg boots look like they came from Alaska and are primarily manufactured in the U.S, they actually originated in Australia where they continue to be manufactured today.
Trademark Controversy, What Can Be Called an Ugg
In 1971 the term “Ugh-boot” and several other related terms were registered with the Australian Trade Mark Registry by Shane Stedman. Several decades later he sold his registered rights to Deckers Outdoor Corporation, which is an American shoe manufacturer. After acquiring these rights Deckers Outdoor Corporation went on to register these terms and others with the U.S. Trademark Registry. However, this didn’t stop many Australian manufacturers from continuing to use the term “uggs” and related derivations of this term, to describe their products.
In 2003, Deckers had had enough and threatened to sue these companies for trademark infringement. The Australian manufacturers, however, felt that the terms registered were generic terms that had been used for generations to describe traditional Australian sheepskin boots and filed their own legal actions. By January 2005, the Australian Trademark Registry had repealed the trademark protection for the terms “ug,” “uggs” and “ugg boots.”
Today if you buy ugg boots, there is no guarantee that you will be buying ““Ugg Boots.”“:http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/22956104/c/143712.html To make sure you are getting the designer version, you will need to buy them from a Deckers distributor. However, if you are looking for the traditional Aussie ug boot, just look for a product with “ug” or “ugh” in the boot’s name.