We often get questions about buying Ugg Boots in Australia & whether they are cheaper here. I think all us regulars cringe a little when we see 'Ugg' in the title, as we know the thread will eventually become a magnet for online businesses to self promote. But many people from overseas don't have any idea about the real history of Uggs & that the name 'Ugg Australia' is NOT trademarked here, like it is in the rest of the world.
Sheepskin boots & slippers have been made in Australia for many,many years. They became popular with surfers wanting to keep their feet warm, so when the surf trend took off, they went with them to the US west coast.
I'm not sure when they started to be called 'UGG' or 'UGH' boots (short for 'Ugly Boots), but it's what I've always know sheepskin boots as. It's such a generic name in Australia, that many companies use 'Ugg' in their names & have done for many years.
The problem started a few years ago when an American company, Decker, bought the 'UGG Australia' business & brand name. They tried to sue all the Australian companies who use 'Ugg' in their names & make them stop. Fortunately it was recognised that 'UGG' is a generic term here, so they couldn't trademark it in Australia. So LEGALLY, any company making & selling sheepskin boots in Australia can call them Ugg Boots.
'UGG' is trademarked in the rest of the world though, so any other company selling sheepskin boots needs to call them something else. For example, Emu Boots is a Geelong based manufacturer of sheepskin boots who sell worldwide, with no mention of Uggs.
This is where the confusion comes in, as the 'Ugg Australia' website makes out that any other sheepskin boot using the term 'Ugg' is counterfeit, which is incorrect in Australia. In fact, Uggs made in Australia are more 'genuine' than the imported versions. When we recommend Australian companies to buy Ugg boots from, we aren't suggesting you buy 'knock offs' or promoting illegal activity.
While I don't usually like to link to Wiki pages, this article does cover the long history of Ugg Boots.