OKAZAZI, JAPAN—With the market for copycat products on the rise, Japanese company Feetness (true name lost in translation) has surged at the opportunity to remake the now famous Ugg boots.
Feetness CIO Daichi Chiba said to Flipside reporters: “I feel no qualms about creating the fantastic new Muggs product.” Then he whispered, “Which are $3.20 in bootleg shops near you.” And he continued more loudly, “The Mug is a completely different product here. First off we get rid of one of the Gs, and we add an M. We also make it into a cup. How much more different can you ask for?”
A lot different, as is clearly demonstrated by the lawsuit Uggs is filing against Feetness. Their argument is that “the manufacturing company Feetness has stolen our trademark boot and boot color for a design on their mug. Additionally, they have taken the name Ugg and used a rhyming word “Mug,” which is reprehensible to Australian copyright laws.”
This fascinating case brings up the question of what it means to have a copyright. Should Feetness be prohibited from creating their mugs called Mugs which rhymes with Uggs? How should copyright laws be applied between different countries? Only time will answer these truly difficult questions.