While I was researching the Ugglebo v. Deckers case, I noticed that Decker’s homepage contains a link to a January 10, 2011 News Release entitled, UGG(R) Australia Reports 2010 Anti-Counterfeit Results. Let’s have a look . . .
The press release revels that Deckers recently made its largest ever seizure of counterfeit UGGS: 244,648 pairs were seized from Putian City, Fujan Province, China on December 23, 2010. According to Deckers’ website, the number of shoes seized in this raid exceeded the total pairs seized in all 118 raids made during 2010 combined. Decker’s CEO, Angel Martinez commented that counterfeiting has negative business and social impacts, as human rights violations occur often occur in counterfeiting scenarios. Here are some interesting facts from the UGG Counterfeiting press release:
Worldwide Customs seizures netted 154,829 pair of counterfeit UGG boots and shoes, a 245% increase over 2009.
Deckers succeeded in enforcing against 4,783 counterfeit-dedicated websites world-wide, a 190% increase over 2009.
Deckers succeeded in removing 2,350 sponsored links from search engines, disabling websites that sell counterfeit goods while also infringing on UGG Australia trademarks. Deckers facilitated the take-down of 30,444 eBay and other auction site listings selling counterfeit UGG(R) Australia product, an increase of 130% over 2009.
Under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), Deckers filed suit to claim 374 URLs containing “ugg,” forcing the counterfeit websites to transfer the URLs to Deckers; under the same Act, Deckers filed for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to freeze the PayPal accounts of 50 China-based counterfeit websites.
Deckers supported the US Department of Justice and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s “Operation In Our Sites,” which took down more than 80 websites selling counterfeit product, including UGG(R) Australia, pharmaceuticals, DVDs and music CDs.
Deckers also has a link to Counterfeit Education on its homepage, which contains information on why counterfeiting is wrong, how Deckers is approaching counterfeiting of its UGG brand, how you can avoid purchasing counterfeit products, and how you can help Deckers enforce its rights. Given the worldwide popularity of the UGG brand, this upfront, assertive strategy makes a lot of sense. Engaging the consumer through education is also really smart, for this brand.
BrandGeek BrandBite: Trademark registration is the first step in a series of steps that are necessary to protect your trademark assets. No matter how small your brand is, trademark monitoring — is a good idea. Policing — taking steps to remedy infringement once it’s discovered — becomes necessary to protect your brand once infringement is discovered. As the UGG Counterfeit press release indicates, the bigger a brand becomes, the greater the chances of infringement. Addressing infringement head on like Deckers has done protects its brand and its consumers.