Cult streetwear/skatewear brand Supreme has dropped the $10 million lawsuit that it filed against Married to the Mob. Supreme’s motion for voluntary dismissal and the court’s subsequent approval comes just 3 months month after Supreme’s corporate entity Chapter 4 Corp. filed against Married to the Mob and its founder Leah McSweeney in a trademark infringement and dilution lawsuit that stems from the latter’s sale of t-shirts emblazoned with a stylized version of the words “Supreme Bitch,” and a series of trademark applications for registration that McSweeney subsequently filed for the “Supreme Bitch” logo, which closely mirrors Supreme’s famed box logo.
Within a week for McSweeney filing a since-abandoned trademark application for registration for a logo featuring the words “Supreme Bitch” written in white inside a red rectangle for use on “hats and shirts” on March 1, 2013, Chapter 4 Corp. filed suit with the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York against McSweeney and the Married to the Mob brand, setting out claims of trademark counterfeiting, unfair competition and false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and common law trademark infringement, among others, and arguing that not only were Married to the Mob’s wares likely to confuse consumers, McSweeney was “trying to build her whole brand by piggybacking off Supreme.”
In response to the suit, which would ultimately settle within a matter of months, McSweeney had some choice comments for Supreme and its founder James Jebbia, asserting, “Unlike some companies that blatantly rip-off other brand logos, Married To The Mob” – which McSweeney launched in 2004 – “has always had its own identity and aesthetic by being an extension of my life experiences.” In a formal response to Chapter 4’s complaint, McSweeney and Married to the Mob denied the majority of Chapter 4’s assertions, and set out an array of affirmative defenses, arguing, among other things, that the “Supreme Bitch” design is a parody, and thus, shielded from trademark infringement and dilution liability. A parody of what exactly? According to their answer, McSweeney and Married to the Mob argued that the “Supreme Bitch” logo and t-shirt “originated as a criticism and parody of the male-dominated and often misogynistic skate culture and Supreme brand.”
In addition to the affirmative defenses, McSweeney has asked the court to declare that her “Supreme Bitch” logo – which has been spotted on singer Rihanna and model Cara Delevingne, among other celebs – is, in fact, non-infringing.
While the terms of the parties’ settlement are confidential, it appears from Married to the Mob’s website that it may have agreed to cease its sales of any the box logo-looking “Supreme Bitch” graphic. As of the time of publication, the New York-based brand’s site was devoid of any “Supreme Bitch” wares in the classic bold red type.