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The Good, The Bad and The Ugg Boot (2006)


This is an account of a David and Goliath conflict between two small businesses – one in Australia, the other in the US – and an American giant. In 2003 the Deckers Outdoor Corporation acquired the trademark for 'Ugg’, the name of the popular sheepskin boots that had been in common use for decades, and began to aggressively enforce their ownership. Among those served notice was a small family business in Western Australia run by Bruce and Bronwyn McDougall. The Ugg boot had been the core of their business for 27 years. Both the McDougalls and the Severns – a US-based family business – separately counter-sue Deckers. The viability of their businesses threatened, both families wait apprehensively for the legal showdown to be resolved one way or the other.

Curator’s notes

The filmmakers turn a legal battle over intellectual property rights into an entertaining narrative. In a parody of the spaghetti western, the distinctive Australian voice of Grieg Pickhaver – better known as the comedic performer and satiric sports commentator HG Nelson – delivers the narration. This lightens the seriousness of the proceedings – the threatened loss of longstanding family businesses – by evoking the urgency of a sporting contest.