The North Face has filed a patent infringement suit against a teenager marketing fleeces, T-shirts and shorts under the brand name “The South Butt.”
In its lawsuit, TNF alleges James Winkelmann Jr., Williams Pharmacy and The South Butt LLC infringed on its patent with their parody product.
“Unfortunately, and inevitably, The North Faceâ€s success attracts opportunists seeking to pirate its famous trademarks for their inferior knockoffs,” reads the suit, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. “The three defendants named here are merely the latest in a long line of such opportunists. They are marketing apparel that directly and unabashedly infringes and dilutes The North Faceâ€s famous trademarks and duplicates The North Faceâ€s trade dress in its iconic Denali jacket.”
Brands have historically had difficulty proving a parody product infringes their patents.
On Tuesday, The South Butt logo on the company's Twitter page had changed from red to blue. The site was filled with posts from fans citing news reports about the lawsuit.