From a little story connected with the streetwear world and the legit fake phenomenon, the battle between Supreme and Supreme Italia – brand controlled by International Brand Firm, which recently registered the brand Supreme Spain – is turning into an international case, that might have serious consequences on the legal future of the fashion system.

nss magazine exclusively got hold of the two latest rulings of the Trani review courthouse, both in favour of IBF and Supreme Italia. The first imposes the release of the three websites connected to IBF that sells items with the Supreme logo, while the second concerns the confiscation of merchandise by the Andria financial police intended for the Spanish market. The interesting thing is that in both court the decisions are in favour of IBF and Supreme Spain, the court underlined that Supreme Spain is totally legal and  the rejection by the European Union of the registration of the brand (required by Chapter 4, the company that controls the New York label) is an important element in the legal case and questions the decision of the Milan court, which condemned Supreme Italia for counterfeiting and unfair parasitic competition. 

 

The websites seizure story 

An Italian Court votes against Supreme in the legit fake phenomenon Two sentences that could be game-changing in the Supreme Italia case | Image 2
An Italian Court votes against Supreme in the legit fake phenomenon Two sentences that could be game-changing in the Supreme Italia case | Image 3

June 4, 2018, Trani review courthouse issued an order of seizure for three websites  - www.supremeitalia.com, www.supremeitalia.it and www.brandshopstore.com – reckoning there was the risk for crime since it was possible to purchase T-shirts and hoodies with the Supreme logo. Yesterday the review courthouse delivered a judgment to release the three sites since there were no legal reasons to block those websites. In fact, www.supremeitalia.com has been offline since January 1 2018, while www.supremeitalia.it is registered in Germany and www.brandshoopstore.com sells a range of different items, not only Supreme products. The latter two websites are still active and its possible to buy T-shirts and hoodies similar to the ones made by the American streetwear brand. 

 

The T-shirts seizure story 

An Italian Court votes against Supreme in the legit fake phenomenon Two sentences that could be game-changing in the Supreme Italia case | Image 1
An Italian Court votes against Supreme in the legit fake phenomenon Two sentences that could be game-changing in the Supreme Italia case | Image 0

The court decision we got our hands on, revolves around the seizure of 3189 T-shirts and another 150 items with the classic Supreme writing, but belonging to a company attributable to IBF, the label that controls the Supreme Italia and Supreme Spain brands. In fact, the merch that was intended for the Spanish market, the Supreme Spain brand, has regularly registered the brand at the national license office and has opened physical stores in Barcelona and Ibiza. The aforementioned merch was seized by Andria financial police because it was suspected to be counterfeit merch and the court judge confirmed the decision, following the fumus commissi delicti rule, that’s to say the assumption that a crime was committed. Yesterday the review courthouse of Trani has completely changed the sentence, imposing the seizure of the items, quoting the judge "the assumption of the crime can't constitute a legal basis for the seizure." 

  

The most important thing of the two court rulings 

In both documents we read, the judge of the review courthouse of Trani has seriously questioned the decision of the Milan courthouse last January, which basically killed Supreme Italia in Italy and pushed the brand to Spain. In particular, the court decisions exclude the possibility of the counterfeit crime (the most serious one) because “following the lawfulness regulation, for an action to be a crime it is not sufficient the confusion between the two brands, nor the actual external similarity of the product.” What remains are two minor crimes of unfair competition and civil offense, which appear less serious if we consider the European Union ruling against Chapter 4’s request to register the Supreme brand in the EU, while the Supreme Spain brand is legally registered in Spain.

 

These court decisions could represent a real legal turning point in this issue, and we’ll keep you updated on nss magazine.