Uggs-N-Rugs is a small business in Perth, Western Australia, manufacturing and retailing ugg boots. In 2006 Uggs-N-Rugs successfully challenged the registration of ugg/ug/ugh as a trade mark in Australia and continues to challenge the trademark registration through the Australian Sheepskin Association.
Uggs-N-Rugs was formed in the late 1970s by Bruce and Bronwyn McDougall who had recently finished farming in Quindanning. Initially the company purchased premade ugg boots for retail. The McDougalls deemed the quality to be erratic so they began to manufacture the boots themselves.
Ugg boot trademarks
The McDougalls and Uggs-N-Ruggs have been featured in Australian media reports from 2005-2006 due to their tussle with Deckers Outdoor Corporation and their registered trademarks. In early 2006 Uggs-N-Rugs was successful in having the Australian trademarks for ug, ugh and ugg removed from the register for non-use. IP Australia (the Australian trade marks office) declared that the words are interchangeable and used generically to describe sheepskin boots. As part of their action the McDougalls provided volumes of evidence showing the term (and its derivatives) being used in a generic sense. In addition, they showed that Deckers Outdoor Corporation failed to use their trademark properly and consistently. This battle was portrayed in the documentary, The Good, The Bad and The Ugg Boot which showed the action set an important precedent in trademark law. After the action was finalised, IP Australia published a clarification on their rulings highlighting the need for more due diligence to be performed by both the registering party and International Intellectual Property registrars before registering a trademark.
- "Aussie manufacturers reclaim ugg boots". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Australian Sheepskin Association Inc. - About Us". Australian Sheepskin Association. 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
- "Program Summary - On ABC TV: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugg boot (airing on 14 September 2006)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
- Kathy Marks (19 January 2006). "These boots are made for litigation". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- Marcus Casey (13 September 2006). "Ugg-ly battle". The Daily Telegraph. News Limited. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Boots and All Fight Revealed". TheWest.com.au. Archived from the original on 20 September 2006.
- IPAustralia.gov.au Archived 29 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine, IP Australia's summary.
- Shelstonip.com, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugh-ly Side of Australian Fashion.
- Freehills.com, 'UGH-BOOTS' trade mark decision a lesson for industry.
- IPAustralia.gov.au, IP Australia's clarification on the ugh, ugh-boots and UGG Australia picture mark rulings.