The North Face Apparel Company v. The South Butt and Others What is Trademark Infringement? This project is a collaborative effort of Street Law, Inc. and Constitutional Rights Foundation. Educating to Protect Intellectual Property (ePIP) is funded by grant 2009-BE-BX-0001 from the United States Patent & Trademark Office and the United States Department of Justice.
North Face is a mountaineering equipment and apparel company. The owners named their original store “the North Face” – evoking a mountain’s north face, generally considered the most difficult face to climb.
Key points about The North Face:
During the last four decades, THE NORTH FACE ® mark and a stylized silhouette of Yosemite’s Half Dome peak have become famous trademarks uniquely associated with The North Face and its quality goods.
It’s parody. The founder of South Butt, Jimmy Winkleman said he was tired of seeing all his classmates spend their money on the exact same jackets and vests. He started the company to get people thinking about alternatives.
Trademark infringement means that there has been some use of the trademark by someone other than the owner in a manner that is likely to cause consumers to be confused as to the source, or origin of the product or service to which that mark is applied.
Factors that help a judge or court determine whether trademark infringement has occurred