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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Winter Olympics:Footstomping good

Definitely the style of this year’s Winter Olympics has been what competitors wore on the medal platform. Canada and Italy seems to have shared the winning gong for winter sartoria. Canadian mukluk boots drew admiring glances from all quarters but so too did Italian athletes with knee-high black boots for women and shorter belted machismo version for men. Mindful of future winter fashions sales, US company, Deckers Outdoor Corporation who trade marked UGG and registered it in the United States as well as 40 other countries plus are keen to safeguard their foothold in this fashion item. The US company market products worldwide using the UGG and UGG AUSTRALIA trademarks. This is much to the Australians’ manufacturer’s irritation because they cannot promote their own Australian Uggs without infringing on copyright. Under Australian law, a registered trademark can be removed from registration if the term is not sufficiently used. The Australian government have up help a non-use challenge from Ugg suppliers in Australia and removed UGG Boot as a registered term. This decision however does not provide a basis for competitors to infringe Deckers' UGG or other registrations in countries such as the US or the European Community. The non-use decision has no binding legal effect on any of Deckers' other registered trademarks in Australia (including its UGG AUSTRALIA logo) or in any other countries. Deckers, one of the blue chip companies in the US, have put their foot down and are adamant they will maintain their policy to actively pursue all infringers.

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