“Fake Supreme” has just lost the rights to use its two trademarks registered in China, according to China Trade Mark Office (CTMO) records — a quiet defeat for one of the most high profile examples of copycat brands allowed to operate in China.
The Drum reported that Supreme Italia — a company that has openly admitted in the past to producing counterfeit goods — has finally lost the ability to operate using the name “Supreme” in China. CTMO stripped the International Brand Firm-owned company of its two trademarks for “ITSupremeNow” after a lawsuit was filed by Supreme US — the New York-based originators of the Supreme brand. In that lawsuit, Supreme Italia was accused of counterfeiting and of misleading consumers.
(Though Supreme US currently has no registered trademarks in China, CTMO records state that the company has 85 applications pending. We’re sure those will be sped up now that Supreme Italia has lost its monopoly on the name.)
Big fake Supreme store opened in Shanghai…
What do you think about this ? pic.twitter.com/jjrGGv8k7a
— Supreme DROPS (@dropssupreme) May 10, 2019
Supreme US has been at war with Supreme Italia for the right to sell merchandise under its name, both inside and outside China, making this a classic case of “legal fake” brands being allowed to operate and even flourish in China. Supreme Italia just opened its second store in Shanghai last month, and were approached for high-profile collaborations with Samsung and luggage brand RIMOWA.
Chinese trademark law has traditionally favored the company who registered first, making it a ripe landscape for opportunistic copycat brands. Legal reforms under way, however, are looking to change the outcome of scenarios like these.
While Supreme merchandise is hugely popular in China, fans of the brand have been known to openly slander the knock-off — some have even gone so far as to tag one of the Shanghai storefronts with graffiti. Still others are entirely unaware of the legal controversy, or straight-up confused that there were multiple Supremes to begin with.
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