Tuesday, January 20, 2009

UGG Boots - An Australian Icon of the 1970s

UggBoots SMCImage via Wikipedia

The History of UGGs and the Trademark Issue by Jennifer G. Gregory

Ever wonder where UGG boots came from and how exactly this trend started? The history of UGGs is very interesting. It's a great story of quality and a national product finding popularity world-wide.

The Birth of UGGs

The story of UGGs started in Australia with sheepshearers. In Australia, Merino sheep are an important product. The wool from these amazing sheep makes some of the softest and warmest clothing. Sheepshearers often had to contend with cold temperatures as they cared for the sheep. They came upon the idea of making simple boots from the double skin of Merino sheep. The soft hide was on the exterior, while the amazingly cushy wool faced the inside. Original UGGs were simply three pieces of skin sewn together to form the sides and the soles of the boots.

These original boots may have been simple (and maybe not all that attractive). It was this characteristic that earned the name UGGs. Some people stated that the boots were "Ugly" and the name UGGs (an abbreviation of ugly), soon stuck with the boots.

UGGs Move Off the Farm

UGGs gained increasing popularity over the years. During World War II, Australian pilots wore UGGs to keep their feet warm in cold airplanes that didn't offer pressurized cabins. The temperature of the cockpit would drop, the higher the plane ascended. UGGs kept the pilots toasty while the cabin temperature dropped.

Eventually, in the 60s and 70s, surfers began to wear UGGs. After surfing all day in the waves, surfers came out of the water shivering and cold. What better way to warm up than slipping your feet into UGGs?

Over the years, UGGs became more stylish and made with exceptional quality. It wasn't long before these simple boots and shoes became a fashion icon. Celebrities began to wear the boots, and the popularity was explosive.

While these boots started in Australia and are a distinctive Australian product, that hasn't prevented other countries and businesses from trying to muscle in on the popularity of UGGs.

Trademark Battles

In the 1970s, Shane Stedman trademarked the term Ugh-boot with the Australian Trade Mark Registry. Later the name was sold to the American company Deckers Outdoor Corporation. Deckers registered several other trademarks based on the UGG term, including UGG Australia. This brought about several trademark legal battles, as there are a number of manufacturers and vendors in Australia that were producing Ugh boots.

After legal action, the Australian Trade Marks Registry removed Deckers' Australian trademark. This removal allowed the terms "Ugg, Ugh, and Ug" to be generic terms, rather than trade names, of these popular sheepskin boots. Deckers still maintains that trademark to market boots in Europe and the US as "UGG Australia".

This is great news for Australian makers of UGG boots. The "real UGGs" are made in Australia, of genuine Merino sheepskin. Brands like "UGG Australia" aren't made in Australia - instead they are manufactured in China, and aren't even made of Merino sheepskin. These brands use inferior materials to make a shoe or boot that simply can't compare to the real UGGs.

Before you purchase a new pair of UGGs, make sure you understand where the shoes or boots are made. When you buy boots that are genuinely made in Australia, you get top quality shoes and boots that are made of some of the finest sheepskin available with unsurpassed quality.

Jennifer Gregory is a full time blogger and intrigued with all things fashion. She's in love with her favorite UGG boots and has written about Women's UGGS on her blog.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jennifer_G._Gregory


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