Despite the fact that when we ask our street style subjects "What is the one thing you wouldn't be caught dead wearing?" most of them answer "Uggs!" the shoe is still in hot demand--so much so that they've being counterfeited by the hundreds of thousands...until now.
Deckers Outdoor Corp., Uggs' parent company, was recently awarded a whopping $686 million in two lawsuits against, wait for it, over 3,000 China-based websites selling counterfeit Uggs, according to WWD. At least part of the funds were seized from third-party accounts like PayPal--an important development for counterfeit cases such as this, since recovering funds from Web operators located overseas is next to impossible.
In addition to the $686 million, Deckers was granted a permanent injunction against the offending sites that will allow them to maintain control of the web sites' domains, which had already been awarded to them prior to the judge's decision. Now, visitors searching for discounted, counterfeited Uggs will be redirected to a site, notifying consumers that the domain was previously used for counterfeit sales and sending them to Uggs' real online store. Among the offending stores names: sparkleuggsboots.com, chocolateclassicuggtall.com, and (this one's just brazen) official-uggs-website.com.
As opposed to say, Hermes, counterfeit Uggs are harder to spot because their price points are believable and the real product is so widely available. "Web sites selling counterfeit Ugg products look very convincing because they use Deckers images and offer products at believable sale prices," Leah Evert-Burks, director of brand protection at Deckers, said. She also said that Deckers takes aggressive action against counterfeiters and has so far sent take down letters to over 23,000 sites and has had 19,000 links removed from search engines. Last year alone, the company seized more than 834,000 counterfeit Ugg products. Whoa.
Who knew Uggs were still so popular!