North Face, South Butt reach settlement

Monday, April 5, 2010 | 6:04 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA – Never stop relaxing.

That's the motto of 19-year-old Jimmy Winkelmann's clothing company The South Butt.

Winkelmann can finally take his own company's advice now that it has reached a settlement with The North Face., which sued The South Butt in December for trademark infringement. The South Butt logo looks similar to an upside-down version of the North Face logo.

The settlement, which was reached out of court Friday, was not mentioned on either company's Web sites.  Winkelmann echoed the secrecy.

"I'm really not allowed to say anything about the settlement," he said. "But yeah, we're still selling stuff."

The South Butt was doing more than just selling merchandise despite the lawsuit. Founder Jimmy Winkelmann handed out free apparel during his spring break stay in Panama City, Fla., according to the company's Twitter feed.

Albert Watkins, the St. Louis-area lawyer representing The South Butt, was unavailable for comment.

Winkelmann, an MU freshman from Ladue, originally started the clothing company to help pay for college and to parody his classmates' label-conscious, consumer-driven zeal for The North Face gear, according to previous Missourian reports. He kept the company alive because of its popularity and success.


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