South Butt's Jimmy Winkelmann Declared in Contempt Over New North Face Parody

A federal judge has declared the former Chaminade student and his father in contempt of court for infringing on North Face trademarks with a new "Butt Face" line.

Remember with his own parody brand called The South Butt?

Well, a federal judge has declared the Chaminade graduate and his father, Jim Winkelmann, in contempt of court, according to an order entered on Oct. 18.

Here's the background, for those who are catching up:

The Winkelmanns lost the original case by The North Face in 2010 when a judge declared the Winkelmann's parody The South Butt clothing line a trademark violation. Undeterred, the pair came back with a line of merchandise branded "The Butt Face," according to a report in the Riverfront Times.

The North Face, of course, sued again in federal court and, the RFT reported in early October that the federal judge in the case ordered the parties to work out a settlement.

"I expect the parties to talk about settlement in good faith when they receive this Order and, if they do not resolve their pending dispute, they will be required to report on the status of these negotiations before the start of the hearing," wrote U.S. District Judge Rodney Sippel. "In other words, it's time to stop smiling and start exploring a sensible resolution to this dispute."

They apparently didn't settle the case, because on Oct. 18, Sippel entered the contempt of court order against the Winkelmanns (see attached PDF for an amusing read) and their new company Why Climb Mountains LLC.

The Winkelmanns, he wrote, were ordered "to cease immediately any further communications of any kind concerning The North Face, The South Butt and/or The Butt Face other than 'no comment' or non-disparaging confidential responses to questions from accredited educational institutions and potential employers regarding this judgment."

Further, he ordered them to cease using "any of The Butt Face Marks, or any other reproduction, counterfeit copy or colorable imitation of The North Face trademarks" and, later, wrote that they must "turn over to plaintiff any (website) domain name, or Twitter account that violates the prior consent injunction."

Wilma Flintstone December 01, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Save A Pony - Ride A Preppy! www.olopshop.com
flyoverland December 03, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Regardless, this kid is going places.
Dennis B. Shultz December 03, 2012 at 05:17 AM
I remember a time when "North Face" meant outer ware built of assault the brutal north face of a challenging mountain peak. I actually own some classic North Face gear manufactured here, in the USA. These days when I see items bearing the North Face brand these items seem to been manufactured many time zones away from Berkeley, California. I can only imagine what the working conditions, those toiling away at the machinery, must endure. I am hoping it is not actually Bangladesh, not that the DRC is much better, I certainly think the conditions are worse than the infamous FoxConn. These days the proud brand "North Face" means as much as Charmin or Angel Soft. Personally I find the judges decision rather contemptible, similar to patenting rounded corners on a cell phone, innovation by litigation.


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