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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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North Face Sues South Butt: Where's the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Outrage?

10 comments

Anyone who reads my blogs knows that the U.S Chamber of Commerce and the insurance industry have communicated lie after lie about the civil justice system. Using terms like "junk lawsuits", "tort reform", and "frivolous", they seek to limit seriously injured people from fair and appropriate compensation from big business Chamber members. The Chamber has no conscience when it comes to seeking corporate profit; it is willing to do so at the expense of seriously injured and disabled people and doesn’t mind lying to get its way.

Why then, do we not hear cries of "lawsuit abuse" and "frivolous lawsuits" when big business files suit against small business owners who parody their products? In a ridiculous abuse of power, The North Face Apparel Corporation has filed suit against a St. Louis, MO company called "The South Butt" . The defendant company was started by eighteen year old Jimmy Winkelmann, who created the products and website to help offset the cost of college. Is North Face truly afraid of a little competition?

The South Butt offers logo’d hoodies, t-shirts, shorts, fleece jackets, and caps, for men, women and kids, in many different colors. The merchandise bears a logo that parodies that of The North Face logo, with block letters and a reverse emblem pointing south instead of the similar North face emblem that points north. The South Butt tag line is "Never Stop Relaxing", a parody of North Face’s "Never Stop Exploring". On the South Butt website, young Mr. Winkelmann excitedly announces that the company is being sued and indicates that the publicity generated by the lawsuit has significantly increased his traffic to his website.

I am certain that North Face spent significant dollars creating its brand and developing its products. However, this is America, the entrepreneurial capital of the world. Is North Face seriously concerned that an 18 year old’s parody company will, somehow, hurt their brand? In my opinion, the company’s vicious legal attack on this youngster’s flattering parody, coupled with its lack of a sense of humor, will hurt North Face more than the "competition" created by South Butt.

And where is the U.S. Chamber? Why aren’t they attacking this frivolous abuse of the legal system and the waste of the taxpayers time and money? Why does big business get a free pass from the Chamber when it comes to filing frivolous lawsuits? This happens over and over again, proving the hypocrisy of the anti-justice movement known as "lawsuit abuse". The Chamber does not seem to mind punishing seriously injured or disabled citizens in the name of corporate profits; why the duplicity when it comes to business suing business? Young Jimmy will need assistance in fighting this Goliath company. I encourage all of my readers to go to the South Butt website and purchase some merchandise. I also encourage all of you to go to the US Chamber website and tell them what hypocrites they are.

10 Comments

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  1. Steve Lombardi says:
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    This lawsuit is going to back fire! Go South Butt and kick some North Face butt.

  2. Mark Bello says:
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    Steve: Out of curiosity, is “back fire” a play on words?

  3. Steve Lombardi says:
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    Funny how that worked out… I wasn’t intending it to be it worked out that way. Here’s a slacker commercial for South Butt.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NKz5XiaMXE

    And here is the North Face lawsuit info from MeCone….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAHU7_ihd04

    The question the court will have to answer in the patent infringement case is whether a face and a butt are similar. Hmmm…

  4. Steve Lombardi says:
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    And here is the controversy video from MeCone.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAHU7_ihd04

  5. Mike Bryant says:
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    They should have the right to bring the claim, just like the U S Chambers suit against the Yes men. Remember they want to keep the courthouse doors open for themselves.

  6. Mark Bello says:
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    Mike: I absolutely agree with you; the courthouse doors should remain open, even when Goliath sues David. The post is intended to point out the continuing hypocrisy of the Chamber, here as to North Face, and, as you point out, in their own Yes men lawsuit. Their South Butt and Yes men behavior tends to prove that their campaign is not against court access; it is against injured and disabled people, for corporate gain and corporate greed.

  7. colleen says:
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    If there is a more consumer unfriendly group than the US Chamber, I don’t know what it is. Using ridiculous slogans like “lawsuit abuse”, these despicable organizations are trying to put corporate profits ahead of the public safety. We will all be sorry if we let them get away with it. Keep exposing them for the charletons they are.

  8. Dawn says:
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    Corporate greed! NF was created by two men in the 60’s and it has evolved into an American Dream for these guys….

    the little jerk off in missouri ripped the total line off…he should be prosecuted and made an example of or little pricks like this will be popping up everywhere thinking they can make a dollar out of other peoples creativity.

  9. J Geiringer says:
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    Dawn: Both you and “NF” need to develop a sense of humor. How can an 18 year old college student “rip the total line off” of a multi-million dollars company? Jimmy’s “line” is a novelty; both you and “NF” should treat it as such.