Deckers Outdoor said criminal sentences for a ring of Australian counterfeiters of UGG boots will be handed down on or around June 18th, 2010.
The company said thousands of pairs of counterfeit UGG boots were seized from raids conducted at several locations in the Melbourne, Australia area back in 2007. A ring of counterfeiters were selling significant quantities of counterfeit UGG boots over eBay in the US, UK, and elsewhere.
In November 2009, the Honourable Justice Tracey, Federal Court of Australian awarded Deckers $7.65M AUD ($7M USD) in damages and costs for trademark and copyright infringement and passing off. In April 2010, the Court found the ring leaders in criminal contempt for deliberately and voluntarily breaching earlier Court orders.
Deckers said it has developed an aggressive counterfeit enforcement program. It includes monitoring on-line commerce sites such as eBay and direct-sale counterfeit websites, working with Customs and law enforcement authorities internationally, investigating and raiding manufacturers, and bringing lawsuits against counterfeiters.
U.S. Customs reports that in 2009, counterfeit footwear became the most frequently seized items and accounted for more than one third of total Customs seizures, easily surpassing apparel, handbags, auto parts, cigarettes, and pharmaceuticals. Counterfeiting of footwear brands has become increasingly prevalent over the last several years. A significant portion of sales occur over the internet, either through on-line auctions or dedicated websites, many of which are operated off-shore but can appear to be t legit.
Due to the aggressive action by Deckers, in 2009 the company succeeded in terminating over 20,000 eBay auctions and tens of thousands of listings on other commerce sites suspected of offering counterfeit UGG product. In 2009, Deckers also shut down over 2,500 websites selling counterfeit UGG, the vast majority of which were based in China. During that same year, Customs seized over 60,000 pair of counterfeit UGG boots from various countries, including Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia, Ireland, the UK, the US, and more.