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Supreme Wins Chinese Trademark, Forcing Shanghai Copycat to Close

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Streetwear brand Supreme is celebrating the end of a long battle with similarly named counterfeiting operation Supreme Italia. The copycat brand, owned by private British company International Brand Firm Limited, has long been imitating Supreme’s iconic products and branding, and even opened a fake flagship store in Shanghai last year.

Last week, WWD reported that the Chinese Trademark Office granted Supreme a Chinese trademark on Jan. 21, providing protection for authentic Supreme-branded apparel, accessories and footwear—including shirts, pants, jackets, underwear, belts, hats, bandannas and shoes—from future copycats. As a result, Supreme Italia has since been forced to close its Shanghai location.

In 2019, Supreme vowed to pursue global legal action against fraudulent parties, and now has a total of 251 trademark registrations in 106 jurisdictions. Though the New York-based streetwear brand operates stores in limited locations, its high profile makes it susceptible to counterfeiting and other legal disputes.

Supreme is not alone. Earlier this year, premium denim brand Diesel cracked down on counterfeiting when it seized thousands of copycat jeans in a global raid. The brand found 1,244 websites promoting the sale of the counterfeit items, 2,838 cases of copyright and trademark infringements and 4,901 fake advertisements falsely related to the brand. China was high on the list of offending countries, with Brazil, Egypt, Morocco, Portugal, Turkey, UAE and the U.K also involved.

As of Nov. 1, China revised its trademark law to focus on the proliferation of trademarks and hold offenders accountable.

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