|An Accused North Face Product|
The lawsuit, which was recently filed in British Columbia, formally alleges that the North Face sold jackets and bags adorned with the maple leaf and "RU/14", which the COC alleges is a reference to Russia and the 2014 Sochi Games, while others featured "2.7.14", an alleged reference to the date of this week's opening ceremonies. Further, the lawsuit alleges that some of the items were identified with such names as "Men's Sochi Full Zip Hoodie."
The lawsuit claims that the COC had warned the North Face about its concerns on multiple occasions, but that the warnings went largely unheeded.
The North Face apparently responded by saying: "[W]e are not an official sponsor of the COC or Team Canada and never indicated we were. We do not agree with the COC's claims and we are disappointed they have taken this action."
The COC has been accused of overzealously protecting its brand. For example, in 2004, the COC launched a high-profile battle to force the Olympia Pizza and Pasta Restaurant in Vancouver to remove signs that featured the Olympic rings and torch. The restaurant owner defied the committee's demand, and the signage apparently still remains in place today.