The South Butt is an American online clothing store selling hoodies, jackets, t-shirts and shorts. They’ve recently found themselves in hot water over their logo design and its likeness to another (and very well known) clothing store, The North Face. Trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition are the issues in the case which started last Wednesday.
The South Butt logo (left) and North Face logo. Easy to distinguish?
The South Butt store was set up by Jimmy Winkleman and targets “who don’t want to be part of a herd with The North Face logo emblazoned on their chest.” (quote from the Maneater)
In reference to the North Face’s complaint that the infringing trademarks are “likely to cause initial confusion, mistake and deception among consumers who are drawn to the infringing products believing they originate from, are associated with or are otherwise authorized by” The North Face, The South Butt have a disclaimer on their web site stating
We are not in any fashion related to nor do we want to be confused with The North Face Apparel Corp. or its products sold under “The North Face” brand. If you are unable to discern the difference between a face and a butt, we encourage you to buy North Face products.
Now there’s no excuse for getting the two mixed up. The hearing last week was to establish dates and deadlines for the case. It will be interesting to see what happens. You can read more about it on the South Butt web site news section and on the Maneater Website.
So what do you think about this? Is the South Butt logo too much like the original North Face design? Will you be rooting for the little guy or do you think South Butt are making money on someone else’s coattails?