Supreme is going to court over similar-looking tee. The New York-based cult streetwear/skatewear brand has filed suit against womenswear brand, Married To The Mob’s founder, Leah McSweeney, in a New York federal court. According to the $10 million lawsuit, which was filed by Supreme’s corporate entity Chapter 4 Corp., McSweeney is allegedly on the hook for trademark counterfeiting, unfair competition and false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and common law trademark infringement, among other claims for a t-shirt that bears the words “Supreme Bitch” inside a red box.
Far from a little known design, the “Supreme Bitch” graphic was the first one that McSweeny began using when she launched her company in 2004. She filed a trademark application for it in January.
Supreme alleged in its 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 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on 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 calling out Supreme 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. .