Ugg Austalia has slapped the Gap with a strongly worded lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, which was filed by Ugg’s parent company Deckers Outdoor Corp. in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday, Gap is on the hook for trade dress infringement, unfair competition, and patent infringement for allegedly has “copying Deckers’ ‘Bailey Button’ boot design in an effort to exploit Deckers’ reputation in the market."
On the heels of a recent resurgence of its ugly-yet-very popular during the early 2000’s boots, Deckers has filed a number of multi-million-dollar trade dress and patent infringement lawsuits against retailers offering “substantially similar” boots. Named in individual lawsuits recently: H&M, J.C. Penney, Target, Gina Shoes (the entity tasked with manufacturing and marketing footwear for Rampage, RocaWear, and Nicole Miller), among others.
Per Deckers, Gap is a competitor of the famed boot maker and is stocking boots that intentionally infringe its trade dress and design patent-protected boots, namely, its button design (which is embodied in design patent no. D599,999). Deckers further claims that such infringement, as well as the related trade dress infringement, which is listed as a claim, was done “intentionally, fraudulently, maliciously, willfully, wantonly, and oppressively, with intent to injure Deckers in its business and with conscious disregard for Deckers' rights.”
Deckers alleges that in “an effort to exploit [its] reputation in the market,” Gap has “deprived Deckers of the right to control the use of its intellectual property.” As a result, Deckers is asking the court to immediately and permanently prevent Gap from selling infringing footwear.
It is also seeking a recall of the products from Gap, and damages that include a disgorgement of the profits that the fast fashion retailer earned in connection with the infringing footwear, as well as compensatory damages, treble damages for willful infringement and attorneys’ fees. The individual lawsuit seeks upwards of $100 million in damages.
The suit comes just after the same federal court in California dismissed Deckers' suit against Target, following an out of court settlement between the parties.
* The case is Deckers Outdoor Corp. v. Gap, Inc., 2:17-cv-04922 (C.D.Cal).