An Australian businessman has lost a legal tussle with a US footwear giant over the sale of ugg boots, and now faces financial ruin.
A court in Chicago found Eddie Oygur, who sells ugg boots online via his company Australian Leather, wilfully infringed on a trademark owned by Deckers Outdoor.
Mr Oygur has been ordered to pay Deckers damages of $US450,000 ($AUD642,780) but is also facing millions in legal costs.
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Deckers acquired the UGG Australia Trademark in 1995.
Mr Oygur had argued that “ugg” should never have been trademarked because it’s a common word in Australia.
But Deckers claimed it made ugg a global brand.
Mr Oygur was shattered at the decision.
“I’m absolutely devastated. I am no infringer of anybody, I’m just an ugg boot manufacturer, a small company in the western suburbs of Sydney,” My Oygur told Channel Seven.
“From how I am now it’s a big thing and all my life savings have just gone today.”
Mr Oygyur was supported in court by former Australian Senator and lawyer Nick Xenophon.
“It is not just a devastating blow for Eddie Oygur and Australia, it is a devastating blow for Australian jobs,” Mr Xenophon told AAP.
“The term ugg should never have been trademarked.
“It is not just a devastating blow for Eddie Oygur and Australia, it is a devastating blow for Australian jobs.”