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IP Educational Series


Is “UGG” Generic? Understanding the Doctrine of Foreign Equivalents

By James Tuck Deckers Outdoor Corp. (Deckers), the owners of the well-known, federally registered trademark for sheepskin boots, “UGG,” recently scored a major victory over its competitor, Australian Leather Ltd. (Australian Leather). A jury in Illinois awarded it $450,000 in damages for the willful infringement of two of its trademarks. It was not in dispute whether Australian Leather used the “ugg” term to market and sell its own line of sheepskin boots to Americans. The issue was whether the UGG trademark was generic concerning sheepskin boots. What Is a Generic Mark? The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) considers a term to be generic when the relevant purchasing public understands or considers the term to primarily function as the common name for particular goods

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Judge Albright Orders Intra-district Transfer to Austin Division for Amazon and Whole Foods

By Vincent J. Allen. Judge Albright recently ordered transfers to the Austin Division for convenience in multiple patent infringement cases filed in the Waco Division of the Western District of Texas.  However, consistent with past practice, the judge is maintaining these cases on his docket. In one of these cases, Freshub filed suit against Amazon, Prime Now, and Whole Foods on June 24, 2019.  The suit alleges infringement of a patent covering voice processing and voice interpretation technology.  The technology allows consumers to utilize home appliances to add items to their shopping carts or grocery lists using voice commands or the simple wave of a hand.  Freshhub alleges that Amazon’s Alexa, Echo, Fire TV, Fire Tablet, and Amazon App products infringe the patents in suit. 

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