South Butt Challenges North Face for Charity

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – South Butt has challenged North Face to match its donations to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. North Face, the outdoor clothier, sued South Butt for trademark infringement two weeks ago. A college student started the parody clothing line, which has become profitable, drawing attention of the North Face.




     South Butt says it is donating merchandise to St. Louis Children’s Hospital so that each patient will get a South Butt product. And the company has challenged North Face to match its giving to the hospital.
     “St. Louis Children’s Hospital is on the cutting edge of the world’s medical exploration of cures and treatments for children, something we hope will strike a chord with a company that couches its products with the tag line, ‘Never Stop Exploring’ and holds itself out as a socially conscious concern,” South Butt’s attorney Albert Watkins said in a statement.
     In its original federal lawsuit, North Face seeks to shut down South Butt, which was founded by a freshman at the University of Missouri.
     North Face refused to discuss the latest challenge, saying it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
     Here is Courthouse News’ Dec. 14 story on the start of the legal battle.
     South Butt Undaunted By
     North Face’s Trademark Claim
     Joe Harris
     ST. LOUIS (CN) – North Face Apparel does not find a college student’s parody of its clothing line funny. It claims James Winkelmann violated trademark by creating “South Butt” clothing, whose slogan, “Never Stop Relaxing,” is confusingly similar to North Face’s “Never Stop Exploring.” But South Butt’s attorney suggested that “North Face should consider embracing its parent company’s stated commitment to ‘consideration and respect,’ applaud the spirit and diligence of this young man, adopt some corporate anger management protocol, and save some money on unnecessary legal fees”.
     North Face sued Winkelmann, his company The South Butt, and Williams Pharmacy in Federal Court.
     Winkelmann, a freshman at the University of Missouri, sells South Butt clothes through Williams, which operates four St. Louis-area pharmacies.
     Winkelmann’s attorney, Albert Watkins, issued a statement to the media in September, outlining North Face’s attempts to halt South Butt production. Watkins said his client had offered to sell South Butt to North Face for $1 million.
     But North Face claims that the $1 million offer was rescinded after South Butt sales picked up.
     North Face says South Butt claims to have cracked the $100,000 sales mark in November alone.
     It wants Winkelmann prohibited from using the South Butt name, and its confusingly similar logo.
     North Face is represented by David Roodman with Bryan Cave.
     Winkelmann’s attorney Watkins seems undaunted by the lawsuit.
     “The South Butt is excited and full of holiday glee in anticipation of addressing this matter in a public forum and will continue to vigorously market and meet the needs of the growing demand for its products,” Watkins said in a statement.
     “The company employs a handful of individuals, including a severely disabled uncle of Jimmy Winkelmann. Perhaps North Face should consider embracing its parent company’s stated commitment to ‘consideration and respect,’ applaud the spirit and diligence of this young man, adopt some corporate anger management protocol, and save some money on unnecessary legal fees in the process.”

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