Chapter 4 Corp., better known as cult-fav Supreme, has taken it to court over a "parody" tee. The retailer has sued womenswear brand, Married To The Mob's founder, Leah McSweeney for $10 million in a New York federal court stemming from McSweeney's "Supreme Bitch" design. [FYI - Supreme Bitch was McSweeny's first design when she started her company in 2004 and she filed a trademark application for it in January.] Supreme's claims against its unauthorized female counterpart: Trademark counterfeiting, unfair competition and false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and common law trademark infringement, among others. Supreme's founder, James Jebbia alleged in his complaint that "McSweeney’s shirts aren’t just trademark appropriation; they’re trying to build her whole brand by piggybacking off Supreme." To add to the amusing nature of the case, Supreme only just applied to federally register the design of its name with the USPTO on trademark March 6, 2013.
McSweeny has now filed her own claim against Supreme, asking the court to declare that her "Supreme Bitch" design (which has been spotted on singer Rihanna, model Cara Delevingne, and others) is, in fact, non-infringing. In addition to throwing Supreme under the busy for its own trademark infringing ways (think: Louis Vuitton, Coco-Cola, etc.), McSweeny's answer to the suit claims numerous affirmative defenses, namely that the "Supreme Bitch" design is a parody, and thus, protected by the First Amendment. A parody of what exactly? According to court documents, the Supreme Bitch t-shirt "originated as a criticism and parody of the male-dominated and often misogynistic skate culture and Supreme brand. More to come ... until the parties settle, that is.