Latest Australian Ugg Boot Maker Promises to Start ‘Crazy’ Sale to Pay $ 3 Million in Legal Fees
Australian ugg boots manufacturer who lost David and Goliath battle with iconic name American rights company plans ‘crazy’ sale to help pay its $ 3 million legal bill
- Owner of Australia’s latest ugg boot maker predicts ‘crazy’ sale
- Eddie Oygur lost battle against US company Deckers over iconic name “ugg”
- His latest appeal was dismissed, costing him $ 3 million in penalties and fees
- Mr Oygur promised ‘crazy’ sale to help pay fees and avoid bankruptcy
The owner of the last Australian boot maker UGG is planning to launch a ‘crazy’ sale in order to pay $ 3 million in legal costs after losing a trademark battle.
Ugg boots might be an Australian icon to many, but the name “UGG Australia” is actually a trademark of an American company that has legally restricted local businesses from using the term.
Eddie Oygur, who owns and operates Australian Leather in western Sydney, lost a huge 2019 lawsuit against US firm Deckers when he tried to overturn the ban.
A Chicago jury found that Mr. Oygur’s company was deliberately infringing trademark law by selling its iconic UGG-branded shoes in the United States.
Eddie Oygur, (pictured), who owns and operates Australian Leather, has pledged a ‘crazy’ online sale on Saturday, December 11 to help pay off $ 3million in legal costs after losing a brand name to profit from the American company Deckers.
This week, there was even more pain when his appeal to the United States Supreme Court was dismissed.
Mr. Oygur says he is lost after being ordered to paying over $ 3 million in penalties and fees to Deckers’ legal team.
“I absolutely cannot pay that amount, I cannot,” he told A Current Affair.
“If they bankrupt me, it will be over, I won’t be able to do anything. “
Mr Oygur was sued by Deckers in 2016 for using the UGG Australia trademark – but he argues that “ugg” was a generic term well known to Australians
Mr. Oygur was sued by Deckers in 2016 for using the trademark “UGG Australia” – which Deckers acquired in 1995.
He argued that “ugg” was an umbrella term and pointed out that its products were made locally in Australia while Deckers uses manufacturers in China.
“If you show that to a 90-year-old grandma who lives in Wagga somewhere, you show her a pair and she’ll say, ‘Yeah, those are some goddamn UGG boots, mate,’ he said.
Mr Oygur has also previously argued that the name originated from the Australian surfing community in the 1960s.
Mr Oygur has no choice but to lay off a number of employees and cancel contractors’ work since losing the legal battle
Since losing the case, Oygur has had no choice but to lay off a number of employees and cancel the contractors’ work.
Despite the devastating blow, Mr Oygur has yet to give up and says he is considering a fire sale to help pay off crippling legal costs.
He plans to do “something stupid or maybe crazy” online via Australian Leather on Saturday, December 11, which involves liquidating the stock below cost.
‘I want this money to pay them [Deckers] to make them happy, ”he said.
Mr Oygur is still allowed to continue selling the boots in Australia, or could change brands to sell them in overseas markets, but he says his company is already overtaken by imports from Deckers.
“Ugg boots are a distinctively Australian product – the product and name coined here,” Australian Leather wrote in an open letter.
The founder of the family business has been manufacturing and selling UGG boots since the early 1990s and has been involved in the sheepskin industry for 35 years.
“Ugg boots are a quintessentially Australian product – the product and the name were coined here,” Australian Leather wrote in an open letter at the start of the lawsuit.
“This form of legal intimidation has already forced other companies to stop exporting Ugg boots and, in another case, even using the words Ugg boots.”
Former Senator Nick Xenophon, who originally traveled to the United States to help Oygur fight pro bono, urged Australians to support the company.
“He’s already spent everything he owns, sold every asset he owns or mortgaged it in order to fund this case for his US lawyers,” he said.
“We have to support him because he is a good man who defended Australia.”
What is Australian leather?
Australian Leather, which makes footwear such as UGG boots, was founded by Eddie Oygur in 1982.
The small manufacturer is based in Lidcombe in western Sydney and is one of Australia’s leading producers of sheepskin footwear.
Mr. Oygur started making UGG boots in the 1990s and makes around 50,000 pairs of them from Australian sheepskins per year.
He has been involved in the sheepskin industry for over 35 years.