UGG v. JC Penney, Sears & Walmart

Thanks to Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement in 2000, UGG boots have risen to celebrity status in the shoe world.  I can attest to the fact that most teens and tweens wear UGG boots with everything from shorts and skirts to yoga pants and jeans.

Deckers Outdoor Corporation, the maker of the UGG brand boots, patented its bestselling Bailey Button boot design and sued retailers selling knock-off boots alleging both trade dress and patent infringement.  JC Penney defended with the argument that UGG can’t monopolize the market and chill competition over a basic functional design of footwear.

It will be interesting to follow this case. Do you think the design is ornamental or functional?