Deckers sues Gap for Ugg trade dress and patent infringement

Gap is the latest retailer to be sued by Deckers Outdoor Corp. for copying its Ugg Australia Bailey Button style of boots.

Ugg Australia's Bailey Button - Deckers Outdoor Corp.

Deckers filed a new lawsuit on Wednesday in California claiming that Gap intentionally copied the design "in an effort to exploit Deckers’ reputation in the market." This lawsuit follows quickly on the heels of Target being dismissed out of a similar suit on Monday after settling with Deckers.

The specific issue is a Deckers-owned patent called the '999 patent. The '999 patent is for Ugg's Bailey Button boot, a slightly modernized version of the classic Ugg boots which are having a renaissance.

Deckers actively defends its intellectual property. Over the last year it filed six separate lawsuits against retailers including H&M, J.C. Penney and Target, alleging the retailers were making and selling "substantially similar" boots without Ugg's or Decker's permission.

In the latest suit, Deckers has asked the court to order Gap to pull the styles from its stores and online. Deckers alleges in its complaint that Gap has deprived it "of the right to control the use of its intellectual property." Deckers is also asking for lost profits and additional damages for intentionally copying Ugg's.

Similar to Target and H&M, Gap does occasionally collaborate with brands for special collections. That factor could help Deckers' claim that the unaffiliated product is truly harmful to their business.

In total, Deckers has asked the court for $100 million. This is the same court that recently oversaw the Target settlement and dismissal. Gap has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit.

 

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