Briefing: Samsung fights reports of ‘fake Supreme’ brand partnership in China

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被质疑与山寨潮牌合作,三星称其“联合的是 Supreme 意大利品牌”–TechNode Chinese

What happened: At the China launch of its Galaxy A8s phone, Samsung announced it had entered a strategic partnership with fashion brand Supreme. The purported CEO of the company also appeared, announcing that his brand has big plans for China, including a seven-story flagship store in Beijing and its first show in Shanghai. Sharp-eyed Supreme fans, however, pointed out that the CEO’s own windbreaker didn’t match up with the American brand’s wares. A marketing manager for Samsung’s China operations responded that the partnership is with Italian Supreme, since “Supreme US doesn’t have authorization to sell or market in China.”

Why it’s important: According to Engadget, the brand “Supreme Italia” falls into “a gray area of intellectual property law.” Since the New York-based company, known for its iconic rectangular logo, never registered in Italy, a local enterprise was technically free to ‘borrow’ its look and name. A Samsung partnership lends the brand a facade of legitimacy in China, although the smartphone brand has also faced–and lost–its fair share of intellectual property disputes. In the end, mainstream Chinese consumers may not care much either way. Despite the fact that Supreme US can’t sell goods domestically, clothing and accessories emblazoned with its easily-copied logo are already commonplace across popular e-commerce sites like Taobao or JD.com.