Australia Ugg boot trademark battle gets 'ugg-ly'


An Australian Ugg boot company is facing a major legal battle against a US footwear giant.

US shoe manufacturer Deckers owns the Ugg boot brand and wants to shutdown Aussie firms exporting the product.

The Australian classic is under attack -- Deckers is suing the Oygur family, who's made Uggs for 25 years.

"Someone has to stand up for them and if it's me so be it," says Eddie Oygur. "Come on, let's have it on."

Deckers owns the trademark for the Ugg boot in 120 countries and wants other businesses to stop using the word Ugg. It's demanding the Oygurs burn their stock and hand over all their cash.

But the family-run business is putting up a fight.

"I'd like to have a fair go selling Australian-made products all over the world," says Mr Oygur.

Outside Australia and New Zealand Ugg is a registered trademark of Deckers and supporters argue Ugg needs to be protected like the French protect the term Champagne.

"We need this to be exempt under the Australia free-trade agreement; otherwise there'll be no hope for people like Eddie and other businesses like his around the country," says Senator Nick Xenophon.

The Australian Trade Minister says he'll consider legislation to protect the name.

But time is running out for the Oygur family. They have 60 days until their first court hearing.