Monday, 24 May 2021

Ugg Case

We are extremely pleased with how the appeal went yesterday before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Court appeared to accept our argument that the doctrine of foreign equivalents should apply to any foreign word regardless of whether the term was an English or non-English word.

The Court was less impressed with Deckers’ argument that the doctrine should only apply to foreign non-English generic terms. As stated by the Court to Deckers’ lawyer:
"Is there any earthly reason why we would have a different rule for an English-speaking foreign nation than a foreign speaking foreign nation when you’re taking words out of that respective country’s dictionary and using them here for a United States trademark for the very goods that the term is used for in that foreign country?”
When Deckers’ lawyer failed to address the question asked, the Court reiterated its earlier question in somewhat more emphatic terms:
“Sir, all I am trying to figure out is, is there any sensible reason why there should be a different rule for a generic word from an English speaking foreign nation than a generic word from a foreign speaking foreign nation?

The US Court of Appeals has reserved its judgment. We expect a favourable decision within the next two to three months.

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