It’s only been a couple of weeks since Supreme Italia opened its giant Shanghai location, and the counterfeit organization has already lost its registered trademarks in China. The Drum broke the news yesterday with an article that includes quotes from Chinese commerce expert Melanie Zhu. She sheds some light on how trademark laws work in China.
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.
It looks like justice will prevail in this chapter of Supreme’s international legal battle. Between this and the Erik Brunetti FUCT case, skateboarding is really shaping global trademark laws in 2019. We wonder what Steve Rocco makes of all of this?
UPDATE 05.05.20: WWD broke the news today that Supreme has secured its trademark in China. And Supreme Italia’s Shanghai location (pictured below) has been rebranded as Hummel. This closes a chapter in one of the biggest copyright infringement cases to emerge in recent years. Right on to the real, and death to the fakers.