Graffiti artist Futura has filed a lawsuit against The North Face for trademark infringement. Highsnobiety obtained a copy of the complaint and the details are as follows.
In the lawsuit, filed January 12, Futura — given name Leonard McGurr — accuses The North Face of using a logo he claims is almost identical to his “atom” design. The suit alleges that the atom logo’s likeliness was used in The North Face’s FUTURELIGHT line and that the design and the collection name were chosen to suggest an association with Futura and profit off his brand.
The suit reads: “If their Logo weren’t enough to conjure FUTURA in the mind of a consumer, Defendants call their new apparel line ‘FUTURELIGHT.’ In other words, the similarity of the graphic designs and the names is no coincidence: Defendants purposefully invoked Plaintiff in order to suggest an association with him. Although North Face had previously produced apparel in collaboration with him, Defendants made no attempt to obtain authorization from Futura, or even inform Futura, before making extensive use of the infringing logo in a $20 million advertising campaign.”
Further, according to the complaint, the FUTURELIGHT trademark “has injured and will continue to injure [Futura] by causing the public to be confused or mistaken into believing that [The North Face]’s goods were designed by, or otherwise affiliated with [Futura].”
In a statement to Highsnobiety, legal representative Jeff Gluck said, “The North Face seems like they care a lot about being cool. This is probably the most uncool thing they have ever done. We gave them every opportunity to try and resolve these claims, but they had no interest.”
As a result, Futura is suing The North Face for damages (the amount remains undefined).
Highsnobiety has reached out to The North Face for comment.
Updates to follow.