Designer Marc Jacobs Asks Lawsuit Be Dismissed After Nirvana Sues For Copying Smiley Face Logo

March 13, 2019
Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, Shirt, Smiley Face, Growing Up Kurt, Exhibit, 2018

(Photo by PA Images/Sipa USA)

At the end of 2018, designer Marc Jacobs introduced us to the "Redux Grunge Collection," a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Marc Jacobs' SS93 Grunge Collection, which was defined by a smiley face logo.

Does the logo look familiar to anyone else?

People have accused Jacobs of lifting the logo of Nirvana for his own design, and we do have to say, there are some striking similarities. 

As they are so similar, Nirvana, L.L.C., created in 1997 to manage the band's affairs, filed a suit against Jacobs for copyright infringement, though the designer has asked the courts to throw the case out and charges be dismissed.  

Jacobs' lawyers argue that Nirvana does not own the copyright to the smiley face design, the registration is invalid and, further, that there are multiple differences between the material covered by the band's registration and his own artwork.  Their motion reads, "The Complaint stems from the false premise that the Plaintiff owns a U.S. copyright registration on a smiley face design (albeit a different one than the one found on the Accused Products), when in fact, that smiley face is merely a fraction of the full artwork covered by the registration and the remainder of the covered artwork is not alleged to have been used on the Accused Products.  For the reasons stated herein, the Complaint should be dismissed for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted with regard to each cause of action."

Nirvana, L.L.C. is seeking monetary damages as well as the stop of sale of those items, and the removal of the smiley face logo from all Marc Jacobs promotional materials.

Via Billboard