Deckers Outdoor Corporation (NASDAQGS: DECK) filed a trademark infringement suit today in United States District Court in the Central District of California against Emu Australia, Inc. and Emu (Aus) Pty Ltd. Deckers is seeking a Court order to stop Emu from using its trademarks.
According to Angel Martinez, Deckers Chairman and CEO, "The success of UGG(R) Australia has created an entire industry of companies that market their wares by deliberately confusing consumers. Emu's trademark infringement is intentionally misleading consumers into believing they are buying a genuine UGG(R) Australia product when in fact, they are not."
Deckers has been manufacturing and selling UGG(R) Australia boots since purchasing the company from Brian Smith, an Australian who had a love for surfing and saw the value in bringing to market a high-quality brand of sheepskin boots that surfers could wear after a long day in the cold water. UGG(R) Australia was first distributed in the U.S. in 1978; at the time of acquisition in 1995, sales of the brand were $17 million.
In the fifteen years since, UGG(R) Australia has expanded both its production and distribution significantly, adding new products and new lines, including a broad assortment of footwear, outerwear, handbags and accessories, and opening 25 company-owned UGG(R) Australia retail stores worldwide. With sales in 2010 expected to exceed $800 million, UGG(R) Australia has been recognized as one of the biggest success stories in the footwear industry in recent decades.
Martinez adds, "Deckers is taking an active stand against those companies that infringe on our trademarks, like Emu, and companies that copy our designs, like Bearpaw, as well as countless websites selling counterfeit product, because our success is built on the trust between UGG(R) Australia and its retail customers and consumers. That bond is our most important asset."
Deckers Outdoor Corporation is a premier lifestyle marketer that builds niche brands into global market leaders by designing and marketing innovative, functional and fashion-oriented footwear developed for both high performance outdoor activities and everyday casual lifestyle use. Teva(R), Simple(R) Shoes, UGG(R) Australia, TSUBO(R), Ahnu(R) and Mozo(R) brands are registered trademarks of Deckers Outdoor Corporation.