Several of Futura’s works contain an image of an atom. According to Futura, The North Face’s logo is quite similar. The graffiti artist is especially outraged because the word mark Futurelight is also close to the name Futura. Moreover, according to the indictment filed on 12 January, he has even done business with The North Face in the past.
Conflicts with graffiti artists are often mainly about copyright infringement on their work. This case is different, however, as Futura is relying on its trademark rights to this logo in his filing. Futura does not have a trademark registration of his design, but in the US, trademark rights may also be established through use. To demonstrate this, Futura has shown a number of specific examples in the indictment of how his design has also been used for clothing.
If the court is of the opinion that trademark rights for clothing have indeed arisen through the use of Futura, it will then have to be determined whether there is a risk of confusion and whether the use of the logo by The North Face should be prohibited. Or is Futura not so much focused on a ban on use, but mainly on lining his own pockets?