Greenspoon Marder Intellectual Property Blog: Update to UGG! Generic or Not?
Intellectual Property Blog
May 15, 2019
Sharon Urias, Esq.
here, in September 2018, an Illinois federal court judge ruled that UGG is not a generic term for sheepskin boots and that the United States owner of the popular UGG brand, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, was permitted to pursue its claims for trademark and design patent infringement against an Australian company, Australian Leather Ltd.
After a four-day jury trial in Illinois federal court, the jury awarded Deckers $450,000.00 in damages. The jury’s verdict found that Australian Leather and its owner, Eddie Oygur, willfully infringed the UGG mark and the Cardy mark (for a knit UGG boot) and willfully used a counterfeit of the UGG mark. Now Australian Leather could be responsible for paying Deckers’ legal fees stemming from the lawsuit if Deckers can prove the case is “exceptional” under the Lanham Act. Although the jury entered its verdict, there are still several issues for the federal court judge to decide in a bench trial, including a request by Australian Leather for declaratory judgment.
The jury apparently agreed with Deckers that UGG is
not generic, but is a valid, enforceable and protectable mark.
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