15 March 2004

US corporation puts the boot into Australia's sovereignty

Ms Jackson (ALP WA) told the House of Representatives on 08 March 04:

The issue I will address tonight is one that presents a choice for the Howard government - that is, to back either corporate America or Australian small business. I have previously advised the House that a US company, Deckers Outdoors Corporation, is demanding, with the threat of legal action, that Australian manufacturers and distributors of ugh boots immediately cease and forever refrain from advertising, promoting, marketing, distributing and/or offering for sale their goods by reference to the word `ugh' or any other name incorporating the word `ugh' or its alternative spellings `ugg' and `ug'. Potentially hundreds of Australian small businesses and families now face hardship through loss of distribution outlets and sales, despite having traded using the word `ugh' for decades.

This is more than just another pedestrian IP issue. Te government must not allow this freebooting conduct. These people must be brought to heel. Australian ugh boot manufacturers must be allowed to operate on an equal footing with Decker. The nation's very sole is under threat. I appeal to Lord Sedgwick to speak out against this attempt to cut off the Australian Sheepskin Association at the ankles.

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