As you’ve probably heard, Supreme is suing Married to the Mob label owner (and ANIMAL friend) Leah McSweeney for $10 million claiming copyright infringement of their signature logo in her “Supreme Bitch” parody design. However, the logo they are suing over hasn’t been federally trademarked.
It was only recently that Supreme filed a trademark application for their Barbara Kruger-inspired logo, nearly 20 years after first using it. Records from the US Patent and Trademark Office show that although Supreme has been using the mark since April 1994, they didn’t file a trademark for it until March 6, 2013. In most cases, it takes between six months and two years for a logo to be officially trademarked.
Similarly, the trademark for just the name Supreme wasn’t filed until 2011 and wasn’t granted trademark status until 2012.
Why wait so long? Owner James Jebbia told Interview that the name Supreme is “a difficult one to trademark” and that “there were no grand plans—with the name, with the store, with anything.” Perhaps same goes for the logo.
Interestingly, Supreme did file a federal trademark for use of the logo on “women’s, children’s and infant’s wear” on the same day. Jebbia told the New York Times last year that Supreme would not expand to women’s wear: “It’s not what we know. It’s not in keeping with what we do.” He hasn’t made remarks on children’s wear. When asked by email if Supreme plans to launch women’s and children’s clothes, Jebbia did not respond.
Common law trademark is established when a symbol is used in connection with the sale of goods. However, protection is limited and registering a trademark with the government is generally suggested.