The North Face, which released its new technology FUTURELIGHT for the autumn-winter collection 2019 with an advertising campaign of $ 20 million, was sued by graffiti artist Leonard Hilton McGurr, known as FUTURA, in the second week of the year 2021.
The attorneys of FUTURA claim that the “ATOM” design, which is featured in many exhibitions and works of the famous graffiti artist and expressed in an artist’s specific manner, was used “deliberately” by The North Face without the permission of the artist.
Besides, McGurr’s attorneys say it is not a coincidence that The North Face chose the brand as FUTURELIGHT with the atom logo. Along with the design, the name FUTURELIGHT recalls the artist’s name FUTURA and therefore the plaintiff wants the relevant trademark applications and registrations canceled as the North Face’s collection can be associated with FUTURA in the eye of the consumers.
The most striking detail of the case is that The North Face had a collaboration with FUTURA in the past years. Therefore, it seems impossible for North Face to be unaware of the artist’s designs.
The “ATOM” design, which is claimed to be associated with the artist, was used as the main element of the artist’s many exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, as well as in cooperation with renowned brands such as Nike, Uniqlo, Off White.
McGurr’s work with numerous famous brands such as Louis Vuitton and BMW in over 50 years has dramatically increased the artist’s recognition and The North Face tries to capitalize on this recognition is another allegation in the case.
The North Face does not comment on the pending litigation.