Cognate's Trademark Blog

The Supreme Fake

Yes we’re back in China again…  We’ve seen the story before and no doubt we will see it again.

The High Snobiety Blog reports…

https://www.highsnobiety.com/p/supreme-store-fake-china/

The fake store has gone to extremes to replicate the original Supreme store experience, with identical interior fixtures, hip-hop playing, and even the same plastic bag. The only giveaway is the small logo affixed to the end of the Supreme mark, which may look like a registered trademark logo to the untrained eye, but upon closer inspection is a custom mark that reads “NYC,” further differentiating the counterfeit brand from the bona fide bogo. This mark extends toeverything from the store signage to even the hangers.

Why would a bootleg brand go through the trouble of adding an extra, inaccurate detail? Probably because the label owns the copyright to the “Supreme NYC” name in China.

To clarify China’s unusual legal stance on trademarks, we spoke to lawyer Julie Zerbo of The Fashion Law. “In addition to the Chinese government’s relatively lax stance on instances of infringement of non-native [foreign] brands’ intellectual property rights by native [Chinese] entities, the way that trademark law operates in China allows for instances like [the fake Supreme store],” Zerbo explains. “Unlike in the United States and most other countries, where trademark rights are gained by actual use of a trademark, in China an individual gains rights merely by being the first to file a trademark application.”

In other words, if you’re fast enough to register a trademark before anyone else, the trademark is yours.

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