Streetwear icon supreme has been accused of biting another brand's designs.
YOEL vs JEEZY
It was back in 2018, when the owner of the ‘Realtree’ camouflage license, Jordan Outdoor Enterprises (JOEL), lodged a copyright infringement suit against Yeezy Apparel.
JOEL claimed its copyrighted camo print appeared unlawfully on several Yeezy garments from bomber jackets, to sweatpants and thigh-high boots.
According to the lawsuit filed in the Middle District of Georgia, someone from Yeezy contacted Jordan Outdoor Enterprises back in March 2016, curious about using Realtree camo patterns.
Apparently three of JOEL’s trademarked Realtree camo patterns appeared on Yeezy apparel with identifying marks removed.
Included in the lawsuit were a long-sleeved moto tee (Yeezy Season 3), high boots and a hooded bomber and camo sweatpants (Yezzy Season 5), which were worn and promoted by West's wife Kim Kardashian West.
Since the copyright claim was lodged, there has been little news of what eventually transpired but seeing as Realtree camo is available for licensing for everything from streetwear to cook wear, it can be safely assumed that the case was settled with more than a few zeros.
At the time, JOEL was asking to be paid three times the damages suffered as a result of the infringement (including all legal fees).
The print has since become extremely popular in streetwear circles inspiring numerous collections from brands such as Stussy, Nike, and Carhartt.
ASAT VS SUPREME
A true David and Goliath battle, today Supreme is a billion-dollar brand and one of the most sought-after streetwear brands on earth, while ASAT Camouflage is a very small supplier of camouflage hunting apparel.
In this latest new legal camo complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York Federal Court on Nov. 11, ASAT Camouflage a small manufacturer of hunting camouflage named Supreme (parent company Chapter 4 Corp.) as breaching copyright in the creation of a tribal camouflage print featured in its latest collections, notably Supreme FW19.
At first glance it is pretty clear that the patterns are VERY similar, in what looks like a far more blatent rip off than Yeezy's.
Supreme Tribal Camo
What’s ironic is that ASAT (an acronym for All Season All Terrain) really didn’t think anyone would be interested in wearing the camouflage print in public, let alone on-trend streetwear.
ASAT calls their print a “3D” camouflage design, which is designed to provide visual depth to ‘catch the prey not the hunter', which most camouflage designs are now doing.
“The bottom line is if you want a camo pattern that looks good to wear on a date, then you're at the wrong website; however, if you want a camo pattern that works in All Seasons and in All Terrain, then I welcome you to the ASAT Nation,” it states on its website.
Supreme obviously recognized the print’s appeal for streetwear and judging by sales they were right.
It is likely another case whereby the wealthier brand will have to generously compensate the creator of the print for potential loss of revenue. Being that the print is ASAT camouflage’s main product, could result in quite a lot of zeros.
“This is an action for copyright infringement under Section 501 of the Copyright Act,” ASAT Camouflage’s complaint reads.
“This action arises out of Defendant’s unauthorized reproduction and public display of a copyrighted camouflage design, owned and registered by ASAT, an apparel company. Accordingly, ASAT seeks monetary relief under the Copyright Act of the United States.”
ASAT has requested damages and profits in relation to the sale of Supreme’s products, suggesting damages of up to $150,000 per work or item.
Considering the range of products Supreme has featuring the tribal camo print, including hats, sweaters and pants, the final bill could end up in the millions.
What happens now?
In terms of legal proceedings, Supreme has been served and will need to reply by December 5th. Further updates will be added as they come to hand.
Like other ‘it’ brands like A Bathing Ape, Supreme under-produces respective to the demand, resulting in a huge resale market and the air of exclusivity that sees collections to sell out fast.
As such, the negative publicity this case garners will have done more harm to the exclusivity of the Supreme name than any court damages could do.
Supreme is also known for its many collaborations with some of the world's leading brands across the fashion spectrum and its frequent usage of camo prints.
The goliath in this story might have to be a little more careful in where it sources its camouflage in the future.
For another outdoor brand with camouflage prints worthy of s a streetwear look, check out Fox Chunk.