The North Face Logo vs The South Butt Logo Legal Controversy

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  1. As one who respects copyright and is sensitive to the infringement upon it, I feel that Winkleman needs to stop. While obviously a send-up of MF, Winkleman wouldn't have any basis for his parody had NF not established such a strong brand presence over many years.

  2. Winkelman seems like a Paula Scher fan. I read an article once about a similar case involving Louis Vuiton and "Chewy Vuiton". Chewy Vuiton was a line of products for dogs that used a pattern very similar to the iconic LV one. The court actually ruled in favor of Chewy Vuiton, saying the fact that the real Vuitton name, marks and dress are strong and recognizable makes it unlikely that a parody particularly one involving a pet chew toy and bed will be confused with the real product. That being said, in my mind, The North Face and The South Butt are too similar of product lines.

  3. David, It will be interesting to see how this develops. On another note your website is the first portfolio site I've ever been to that has made me hungry. I know what I'm ordering for dinner tonight!

    Abie, I hadn't heard of Chewy Vuiton. That's an interesting story and certainly has implications in regards to this case as well. And you're right the products are remarkably similar in this case. If you find the South Butt website you'll see they even sell the iconic North Face fleece jacket with the South Butt logo. What's fascinating is that according to Winkleman he had only sold about 200 items until the cease and desist letter. Now that it's gotten some publicity he can't keep his product in stock. Seems like it backfired on The North Face.

  4. Who cares! Its funny, let the man do his thing. Until you brought this up I would have never heard of it.

  5. Duse,You're right it is funny. Which is why I think he'll be able to get away with it as a parody. And you're right, all this controversy has got to be great for his sales.
    zmmps, First off, love your handle. That's not a bad idea. They should just pay him off, the problem goes away and he's happy too.

  6. If South Butt folds it would mean the start of a potential cascade of "me too" litigation between the likes of ABCNBC, and countless other "wanna-be victims" of their own identity (or stupidity?) crisis.

    SMART people should owe nothing to those who hang out under an exactly opposite marquee (DUMB), even if they are already on record for having chosen it 'first' as their "branding". Well duh!

    Just another reason for tort reform....(birth control for lawyers..?)
    - can we still say that..??

  7. I can see both sides however in this day and age North Face should have thought ahead, let's face it they could have registered a patten on the Southbutt logo or any Butt for that matter, after all isn't that what they pay their Marketing firm for? In today's market you have to be creative and that's exactly what winkleman did, I think that the owners of North Face are upset because they simply didn't think of it first; there's enough to go around so share the welth and take it as a compliment, North Face is an excellent product so what are they so worried about? they are too different entities. I wish I would have thought of it. I live in Saint Louis and saw his product on thanksgiving when my sisters teens were wearing the gear, "LMAO" the kids told me that winklemans product was much more affordable for them to purchase, most of the time your paying more for a name then the actual product, come on America what happened to the Land of opportunity.
    Looking forward to purchasing the product.
    Carlina Byrne
    Saint Peters Missouri

  8. - maybe... just maybe "What's-Its-FACE" is just "too big to fail"... without some form of legal protection or brand "bailout" ... (have they applied for some stimulu$$..?). Or are they instead a part of that vast evil financial empire that needs to be regulated out of that the 'little guys' can compete better..?

    BUTT - there is always another side to the issue...
    like actual value for goods/services, etc... or
    - like "FREE MARKET COMPETITION" for instance

    😉 hmmm(?)

  9. Hi, I absolutely believe that the Southbutt line should continue on. Northface is making their millions, so butt-out and let this talented young man make a living for himself. I think it is totally fine, as Mr. Watkins stated we all know the difference between a face and a butt and they are total opposite.
    I feel that Northface is sorry they didn't think of it first or along with their Northface logo. I think the law suit is proof of that. I hope that Mr. Winkelmann is considering a counter suit against Northface for all of the aggravation he will have to go through.
    Northface needs to face the fact that there is alot of room out there for invention, creation and success. Mcdonalds doesn't try to sue everytime someone else opens a fast food burger joint.

    Good luck and the best success to you Mr Winkelmann, I hope you win, I'm going to purchase one or several of your shirts after Christmas.


    Gina Frick

  10. Gina,
    Actually McDonalds is notorious for suing anyone that uses the word Mc(Anything). Most recently they've sued a business named McSweet's that only does roughly $50,000 in annual sales and sells picked onions and other gourmet pickled goods.



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