Graffiti artist Futura sues The North Face over logo dispute
American street artist Futura is suing VF Corp-owned outdoor brand The North Face, alleging that the logo of its “Futurelight” outerwear line copies his “atom” design, a recurring motif in his work.
Filed in California federal court on Tuesday, the lawsuit claims that, through the line’s logo, The North Face has deliberately sought to mislead consumers into thinking that Futura is associated with Futurelight.
Both the Futurelight logo and Futura’s atom design feature a number of intersecting ellipses contained within a vaguely circular – dodecagonal in the case of the Futurelight logo – border.
And it’s not only the outwear line’s geometric logo that is singled out by the artist’s complaint. The lawsuit also claims that the name “Futurelight” untruthfully implies a link between Futura and the line.
“If their logo weren’t enough to conjure Futura in the mind of a consumer, defendants call their new apparel line ‘Futurelight,’” said the complaint. “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.”
The lawsuit therefore states that Futura’s brand is injured by Futurelight, and aims to sue The North Face for unfair competition, unfair business practices and trademark infringement. The amount that Futura hopes to receive in damages has not yet been defined.
The suit also asks the court to order the brand to “immediately recall and remove any and all infringing products from the marketplace.”
As highlighted by the filing, The North Face has previously collaborated with Futura, whose past creative partnerships also include Nike, Uniqlo, LVMH, the New York Mets and Yankees, and Comme des Garçons.
The North Face is yet to comment on the lawsuit.
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