The Australian ugg boot maker Eddie Oygur has suffered a $US450,000 ($A643,000) loss in his “David versus Goliath” authorized fight with a major US footwear and apparel company.
A jury in Chicago found Oygur’s business, Sydney-based Australian Leather, wilfully violated a trademark registered to California-based Deckers Outdoor by selling ugg boots online to customers in the US.
After a four-day trial Oygur was forced to pay Deckers statutory damages of $US450,000 and he may face an order to pay millions more in legal costs.
Deckers generates assorted than $US1bn in annual sales from its UGG brands.
Oygur argued “ugg” is a generic term originating in Australia from the 1960s surfing community.
“It has been a beastly blow,” said Australian lawyer and former senator Nick Xenophon, who is in Chicago supporting Oygur.
“Everything he has turn out for in Australia for over 40 years has come to this.”
Deckers acquired the UGG Australia trademark in 1995. “Deckers’ upshots have been widely accepted by the public and are enormously popular, as demonstrated by over $1 billion in annual UGG exchanges,” Deckers wrote in its complaint to the US district court.
“The UGG Trademark is a famous mark.”
Xenophon said Oygur was “devastated and insubordinate” after the verdict and hoped the Australian public, Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten backed the businessman’s plan to allurement.
“It is not just a devastating blow for Eddie Oygur and Australia, it is a devastating blow for Australian jobs,” Xenophon said.
“The title ugg should never have been trademarked. It is a generic term that should have been protected by Australian rules in the past.
“As disappointing as the verdict is, what has been incredibly disappointing is the Australian government has failed to stand up for Eddie by take care of him the legal assistance he deserves to fight this case.
“Eddie and his tiny company have been doing this all on their own.”