After being bold enough to open a massive store in Shanghai last month, “legal fake” imprint Supreme Italia has now lost its registered trademarks in China following legal opposition from the real Supreme NYC.
As reported by The Drum, Supreme Italia’s parent company International Brand Firm Limited lost both of its previously-owned registered trademarks filed under “ITSupremeNow,” which was officially revoked by the China Trade Mark Office (CTMO) database as of last week. While the Supreme we know and love doesn’t have any registered trademarks in China, CTMO confirms that the brand has 85 pending trademark applications.
Here’s a brief breakdown of how the trademark situation works according to The Drum, as told by principal of global IP consultancy Rouse, Melanie Zhu:
“Trademark protection is territorial, a mark registered in the US is not automatically protected in other countries, and the owner has to go through the trademark application procedure to seek the protection of the mark in other jurisdictions.
In mainland China, trademark protection mainly adopts a first-to-file principle, say, those who first apply for and register the marks have the legal ownership over the marks. Of course, when there are trademark disputes means to help the genuine owners to retrieve the marks if the marks are preemptively registered by bad faith squatters.”
The new trademark laws in China that go into effect in November 2019 are expected to help combat situations where legit companies have their trademarks already claimed by counterfeit brands, with Supreme Italia clearly being the “squatters” in this case.
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