Moschino showed its Spring 2013 collection in a makeshift Milanese supermarket. The collection consisted of pastel plaids and tailored suits, but also of supermarket-inspired prints, namely one that resembled the Budweiser logo, but with the word Moschino, instead. This, in connection with the elaborate setting, raised eyebrows, as it was suspiciously similar to NYC-based designer Marlon Gobel's spring collection from a year prior - from the supermarket set to the Budweiser print, as well as to NYC-based skate brand, Supreme's Spring 2009 all-over Budweiser print wares. Fast forward to this Spring/Summer and the Budweiser logo is still in fashion. Singapore-based label, O-MIGHTY, which stocks at Nasty Gal and Karmaloop, among other sites, has decided not to stock Supreme or Moschino's tees on its site but create a copy of its own.
As for what we have on our hands here, we have design piracy, at the very least. It seems that Moschino copied Supreme (and Gobel), and O-MIGHTY copied one or both of them. As for whether Supreme has a legitimate copyright infringement claim against O-MIGHTY, that's up for debate. Prior to Supreme, it doesn't appear that anyone used the all-over Budweiser print. Thus, Supreme may be responsible for creating an original compilation of sorts. A compilation is a work created by assembling or arranging materials that are not copyrightable (for whatever reason) in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work protectable by copyright law. Under this theory, Supreme may have a pretty strong copyright infringement case against O-MIGHTY.
A discussion about trademark infringement is also warranted here for obvious reasons. Anheuser Busch has a federally registered trademark that protects the Budweiser logo, including the illustration, as shown above, but it does not extend to clothing. Any of Anheuser's Budweiser
trademarks that cover clothing are merely for the word Budweiser. With this in mind, Anheuser most likely has a cause of action against O-MIGHTY and Supreme, and potentially against Moschino (whose rendition of the Budweiser print is a bit less egregious because it doesn't actually use the word Budweiser, and also because the Italian design house altered the design of the logo quite a bit).
This brings the Andy Warhol Campbell soup work to mind. According to the Andy Warhol Foundation, Warhol
"did not run into problems with [Campbell], which saw his usage as amusing and as freedom of expression." Further, it was only after Warhol's death that official legal agreement between the Warhol Foundation and Campbell Soup was enacted, when the Foundation began entering into licensing agreements with manufacturers to use Warhol's imagery on products. So, basically (as always), its up to Anheuser whether it wants to sue or not. Thoughts?