North Face Lawsuit Was|Good for South Butt

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – South Butt apparently has won its trademark battle against clothing giant North Face, though terms of the settlement are confidential. And North Face’s trademark lawsuit, filed last year, appears to have touched off a major expansion of South Butt products and outlets.

     When North Face sued in 2009, only a handful of drugstores in the St. Louis area carried South Butt products. Now South Butt products can be bought at 19 locations throughout the United States, including Georgia, Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, California, Missouri, Oregon, Mississippi, New York and at all Six Flags Amusement Parks.
     North Face claimed South Butt’s logo and motto were confusingly similar to North Face’s. It asked a judge to shut down South Butt, whose founder, Jimmy Winkelmann, was then a freshman at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
     Winkelmann’s attorney, Albert Watkins, announced in April that the case had been settled, but did not release details, citing a confidentiality agreement. When pressed by reporters, Watkins referred them to South Butt’s website.
     South Butt appears to be going strong, months after the settlement. Last week the company sent out an email newsletter called “The South Butt Gazette.”
     It included an update on South Butt clothing, including beach towels, T-shirts, golf towels, water bottles and baby clothes. And it contains information on South Butt’s favorite charity, the Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, and adds that South Butt is sponsoring a teen-age dance group out of Virginia and a rap group out of Columbia, Mo.
     South Butt has 26,000 fans on Facebook.

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