Outraged by this attempt to monopolise the international market, Australian manufacturers banded together to form the Australian Sheepskin Association, lead by UGGS-N-RUGS in Western Australia and Mortels Sheepskin Factory in NSW. Together action was taken to protect Australia manufacturers' rights to the word UGG, UG and UGH and the trademarks were deregistered in Australia.
On 16th January 2006, the Trademarks Office handed down their decision that the evidence was "overwhelming" that the terms "ugg boots", "ug boots" and "ugh boots" were generic terms and could be used by anyone in Australia to refer to sheepskin boots, and that the trademark "ugh-boots" and "ugh" be removed from the Register.
This win has been a major boost for the small business community, and through determination and community support numerous jobs have been saved. We weren’t just going to lie down and let them put us out of business. Of course none of this came cheap, but we’re just glad we won this small part of the ‘uggly’ battle.
"Ugg", whilst always have been considered and recognised as a generic term to describe footwear made from sheepskin, is still registered as a Trademark, and therefore a brand, by Deckers Outdoor Corporation, in most countries in the world except Australia. Australian manufacturers and retailers will continue to call their ugg boots by the rightful name being the product that they are and the product that the name represents.
Mortels Sheepskin Factory are founding members of the Australian Sheepskin Association.