Ugg bootmaker says federal government support could help bring the case to the US Supreme Court

An Australian ugg boot manufacturer says his legal battle with a US firm has received a major boost thanks to support from the federal government.

Footwear giant Deckers has the UGG brand in more than 130 countries and in 2019 successfully sued Western Sydney boot manufacturer Eddie Oygur for the sale of around a dozen products to the United States.

After losing a U.S. court appeal against Deckers in April, Mr Oygur said he was facing the collapse of his business, owing $ 450,000 ($ 572,629) in damages and millions in attorneys’ fees.

Former South African Senator and lawyer Nick Xenophon is part of his legal team and has lobbied for support from the federal government.

Sir. Xenophon said the government had briefed a senior U.S. appeals lawyer to file a “friend of the court” who would provide “critical support” to help bring the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We have now filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court to say that this trademark ‘ugg’ cannot belong to the United States or any country or any private company because ‘ugg’ is a generic Australian term,” he said.

“The Australian Government has raised $ 150,000 for US lawyers.

Sir. Oygur said he was elated by the news and said he had “no choice” but to continue his fight.

“I’m really grateful … I really need all the Australian support I can to bring ugg home,” he said.

“We are still on our feet, thank God. We are still fighting against them and we will bring ugg home again.

“It put a tear in my eye, I must say, because it made me proud to be an Australian. I put all my life savings into this. But I knew I was fighting and I am still fighting for what is right for Australia. And for my company. “

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Eddie Oygur and Nick Xenophon speak with ABC Radio Adelaide’s Sonya Feldhoff.
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Sir. Xenophon said the preliminary arguments would be heard as early as next month, and he hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case in May or June.

The term “ugg” is widely used in Australia to refer to sheepskin boots, but in major markets, including the United States and the United Kingdom, Deckers owns the UGG brand.


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