Westhaven

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Originally created in Australia, for well over 50 years these sheepskin boots have been known as ‘Ugg boots’, sometimes also spelt as “Ug” or “Ugh” but more commonly known as “Uggs” or “Uggies”. Dozens of local manufacturers have made Ugg boots for many years including Westhaven where our history in the industry goes back well over 30 years. The large American Deckers Outdoor Corporation claimed in late 2004 that it had ownership of the Ugg name and began pressuring Australian manufacturers, including Westhaven to cease using Ugg or any derivate of it, threatening legal action if they did not cease using the name.

The much smaller Australian manufacturers combined, pooled funds and took on Deckers where it was determined through Court action that Ugg, Ug and Ugh were synonymous, generic terms used in Australia (just like toothpaste or meat pie) for well over 50 years to describe a type of sheepskin boot and that no particular company or individual had ownership of the names in Australia. Deckers’ claims attracted major Australian and international media coverage, most of which was highly supportive of the Australians (even from America) in what was seen as a ‘David and Goliath’ battle where ultimately, David (the Australians) won. The matter even reached debate in the hallowed halls of the Australian Parliament where much criticism was levelled at the Government for allowing Deckers to access the Ugg name in the first instance.

A similar case was brought in New Zealand in 2008 by Deckers and this case too was won by the local manufacturers.

However, through a position of financial strength, Deckers now have legal ownership of the Ugg name in other parts of the World and in these locations, any product not made by Deckers will instead need to be referred to as “sheepskin boots”.

To us and all Australians … Ugg is Australian as kangaroo, koala and meat pies and they will forever be known as Ugg boots!