The North Face v. The South Butt.
In case you were not aware, The North Face, a company selling high-end “outdoor” apparel, sued a teenager in Missouri for, among other things, trademark infringement. The teenager, being of strong entrepreneur mind and spirit, started selling clothes under his own mark, The South Butt. Apparently the young gentlemen wanted to generate social commentary on the absurdity of spending an inordinate amount of money on The North Face clothes by his classmates.
As trademark infringement, boiled down to its essence, is about deceiving, confusing, or otherwise misleading the public, it is hard to imagine The North Face will succeed in its lawsuit. This also ignores well established fair use law that allows for parodies of trademarks. In the end (pun intended), one surely can see the parody of The South Butt in the face of (pun intended) The North Face. Let’s hope the courts can get it right.
If you want to support The South Butt LLC, you can visit their online store and purchase a shirt.
For more background information about the case, see what ABC news had to say here in October 2009.
For those interested in the court filings, we recommend reading the Answer filed by The South Butt LLC. It is one of the more humorous Answers you will ever read.