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Ugg Is Suing Steve Madden Over This Best-Selling Sandal Slide

Ugg has a bone to pick with Steve Madden.

Deckers Outdoor Corp. — parent to Ugg as well as Sanuk, Teva and Hoka One One — is suing Steven Madden Ltd. over an alleged “bad faith” copy of Ugg’s top-selling Fluff Yeah sandal. In the suit, filed on Tuesday in California federal court, and first reported by The Fashion Law, Deckers accuses Steve Madden of trade dress and patent infringement.

Ugg alleges that Steve Madden’s Fuzz sandal is sufficiently similar to its Fluff Yeah Trade Dress and is “likely to lead to and result in confusion, mistake or deception” for consumers.

Steve Madden Fuzz sandal, Ugg Fluff Yeah sandal.
(L-R): Steve Madden Fuzz sandal, Ugg Fluff Yeah sandal.
CREDIT: Courtesy

The Fluff Yeah sandal debuted in 2018 as Ugg’s take on a summer-ready option and managed to make that year’s Lyst index of the most-wanted shoes for women. The silhouette was Ugg’s best-selling style of 2019, with 100,000 pairs sold on Ugg.com, and the brand said it has sold “millions of dollars’ worth” of the style. The Fluff Yeah has also been spotted on the feet of stars such as Gigi Hadid, Cardi B and Lucy Hale.

Deckers is seeking injunctive relief to prevent Madden from further alleged infringement. The company has also asked for monetary damages, including profits from Madden’s “unlawful acts” as well as reimbursement for attorneys’ fees.

“Design innovation is a core value of Deckers and the Ugg brand. Deckers is committed to vigorously enforcing its intellectual property rights,” said Tom Garcia, SVP and general counsel of Deckers, in a statement to FN.

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This isn’t the first time Steve Madden has been engaged in a legal dispute over alleged infringement. A decade ago, British fashion brand Alexander McQueen filed a trade dress suit alleging that its Faithful boots were being copied by Madden’s Seryna boots. (The two later settled out of court.) That same year, Balenciaga filed a complaint against Madden over its lookalike Lego-inspired sandals; the French house received a payment of an undisclosed sum from the fast-fashion giant. Further, in 2017, eco-friendly label Allbirds accused Steve Madden of copying the design of its signature wool lace-up sneaker. In 2018, Alice + Olivia filed a suit against the Steve Madden-owned Betsey Johnson label for copyright and trademark infringement, alleging that Betsey Johnson used its signature face, the “StaceFace” on its handbags. More recently, Steve Madden and Yves Saint Laurent settled a dispute out of court in May 2019, after Saint Laurent alleges that Madden’s Sicily flats design infringed upon its high-heeled Tribute sandal.

A representative from Steve Madden did not immediately respond to FN’s request for comment.

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