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The history of Ugg Boots

Melbourne, Australia
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The history of Ugg Boots

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugg_boots

Edited: 01 April 2013, 21:05
Oz
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1. Re: The history of Ugg Boots

Thanks for that,

I thought there was probably another use for sheep ;-)

Cheers,

Frisco, Colorado
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2. Re: The history of Ugg Boots

Very informative, thanks for the post!

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: The history of Ugg Boots

Excellent information ellenwillow, thank you for clearing all that up!

gk
Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: The history of Ugg Boots

Great post!

Melbourne, Australia
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for Melbourne, Victoria, Road Trips
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5. Re: The history of Ugg Boots

Thanks everyone. I get a bit sick of posting the same info each time the question gets asked, so hopefully with this explanation I won't need to. When the last thread I posted on was deleted because it was a discussion about 'counterfeit goods', I thought it was time make it very clear about the unique situation in Australia :)

Edited: 01 April 2013, 21:42
Sydney Australia
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6. Re: The history of Ugg Boots

Good work ellenwillow.

And having clarified the legalities another thing for people to consider is that uggies tend to wear out from a hygiene ie smell perspective faster than the actual materials or construction. So it can be better to get a middle of the road pair than pay a lot. Too cheap and nasty they fall apart but some are more durable than necessary.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: The history of Ugg Boots

Excellent post. I have had posts removed on the NYC forum because I can't help myself...I get very defensive about uggs. And when they ask for "genuine" uggs I refer them to Aussie businesses - see my discussion here:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k1593403…

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: The history of Ugg Boots

Thanks very much for the clarification Ellenwillow, let's hope this post helps others understand our unique situation here in Australia.

This reminds me of the "Burger King" story here in Australia. We do not have any Burger King's here because the big USA chain came into Australia and tried to register the name. There was a little corner shop in Adelaide who already had the name "Burger King" registered here. Our Government officials, for once, held their mettle and flatly refused to allow the US chain to bully this small business owner out of his name. From that time forward, we have Hungry Jack's here, not Burger King. Same business, same business principle and products, just made to call themselves by another name.

Here's another Wiki link which gives the basics of the story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungry_Jack's

Sydney/Melbourne
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9. Re: The history of Ugg Boots

Great source of information.

Bookmarked this link and now await the next 'where can I buy Ugg boots?' post

Snodge, if your uggies start to get on the nose, just chuck them in the machine on a gentle cycle - but do it in summer - they take an age to dry.

Perth, Australia
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10. Re: The history of Ugg Boots

All hail ellenwillow! Great post for all the reasons mentioned.