An underlying issue that consistently arises in the Sheepskin footwear industry, is one that is brought forward to our company quite often, ‘Are your Ugg boots real?’ This question comes from a variety of people whether it be friends, family or customers and it is at times a difficult question to answer without going into too much detail. Within this article I will attempt to explain the difficult question, and it is a difficult question as the Ugg name is trademarked differently across the world. I guess for those who can’t afford ugg boots for men they say it is fake.
Let’s start from the beginning and delve into a little bit of a historical context regarding Ugg boots.
The first boots were thought to have originated as a functional form of footwear worn as a source of warmth during the 1920’s, particularly around the rural areas of Australia. After approximately 40 years Ugg boots began to come into more social prominence as during the 1960s surfers began wearing them up and down Australia’s coastlines. Within the next 10 years Ugg boot popularity again rose as the boots were introduced to surfers from the UK and US who were competing around Australia and this marked the beginning of Ugg boots being worn more prevalently around the world. Boom time erupted during the 1990s primarily due to a variety of celebrity endorsements and this began a world-wide fashion trend during the 2000s. This has always been a bit of a discussion point amongst the more traditional Australian Ugg boot wearers as locals tend to wear the boots indoors outside of the public eye as the boots themselves are associated with a bit of a ‘daggy’ fashion sense.
So basically from the history lesson I have just provided it is quite clear that Ugg boots can be deemed a generic product originally manufactured and clearly invented within Australia. However and most unfortunately, in 2003 a major American company that shall not be named here, sent out numerous letters to existing manufacturers within Australia threatening legal action if they did not cease from using the term ‘Ugg’ both in their products and advertisements. This company claimed to own the term ‘Ugg’ and proceeded to register and trademark the term, not just in the United States but all around the world, including the Ugg boot birth place of Australia. This action is all the more interesting when you consider that the company itself had already purchased an Australian Ugg boot manufacturing business, changed the name slightly, and shifted production to China. The trademark claim was then challenged by one of the little guys and a classic David vs Goliath battle ensued. Personally, I think that this is a ‘classic’ when you speak about what it is to be ‘Australian’, as the little guy didn’t just sit back and ask himself ‘woh is me, what am I going to do now… ‘ NO! The little guy took it up to a billion dollar company and won as the case was upheld in 2006. Basically, this meant that the American company could no longer trademark the ‘Ugg’ brand in Australia, and the product has since been termed generic in the country.
With this information easily available to be obtained, it becomes a little bit frustrating that so many people can be misinformed about the product. I recently read the following article http://www.yournextshoes.com/2009/12/how-to-spot-fake-uggs and although some good points are made throughout, there are also some blatant mistruths told. One such is the ‘check the label’ tab where it is stated ‘If the label says they are made in Australia that is flashing warning sign of a fake.’… Are you kidding me here? The article, whether purposively or not is clearly discriminating against legitimate Australian businesses producing quality products. However, there are still some very sad stories that you can come across when scrolling the web for Ugg boot information. The poor soul in the following article http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-1708792/Fake-UGG-boots-website-ripped-me-off.html was clearly ripped off after purchasing a product that was of a terrible quality and clearly made in China from a fake company. However, I think you should take note as the poor girl is also misinformed in some of her opinions.
Now we get to the business end, “where can you buy genuine Ugg boots”? As you have been well informed now you are far more equipped to take on the challenge. As a general rule, when purchasing from an Australian owned and operated company it is still important to check if the boots themselves were made in Australia, otherwise they will more than likely be a form of cheap knock off. If you choose to purchase Ugg boots from the well known American company it is still important to research the purchase. There are still countless websites out there offering fake products that are generally coming from China. Another important aspect to look out for is the price of the boots, because if the boots are in fact fake, the price point will almost always be the point of difference. If you want a quality product be prepared to pay the legitimate price for the product! Grab now your favorite UGG boots online.
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