Marc Jacobs Responds to Nirvana’s Smiley Face Logo Lawsuit


The designer requested the swimsuit to be dismissed, saying Nirvana does not personal the copyright and there are pronounced variations between the designs.

Marc Jacobs is asking a decide to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Nirvana final December that alleged copyright infringement over photographs used within the designer's "Bootleg Redux Grunge" assortment resembling the band's iconic completely satisfied face brand. 

In paperwork filed Friday in a California federal court docket and obtained by Billboard, the designer's attorneys argue Nirvana doesn’t personal the copyright to the smiley face design, that the registration is invalid and, additional, that there are pronounced variations between the fabric coated by Nirvana's registration and the art work utilized by Marc Jacobs. The information was first reported by The Blast.

"The Complaint stems from the false premise that the Plaintiff owns a U.S. copyright registration on a smiley face design (albeit a unique one than the one discovered on the Accused Products), when in truth, that smiley face is merely a fraction of the complete art work coated by the registration and the rest of the coated art work just isn’t alleged to have been used on the Accused Products," the movement reads. "For the explanations acknowledged herein, the Complaint ought to be dismissed for failing to state a declare upon which reduction might be granted with regard to every explanation for motion."

The "Redux Grunge Collection" was unveiled in November 2018 to rejoice the 25th anniversary of Marc Jacobs' SS93 Grunge Collection, which was outlined by a smiley face brand. The Marc Jacobs model options an M and a J as a substitute of Xs for its eyes (as within the Nirvana model), and it reads "HEAVEN" as a substitute of "NIRVANA" in a typeface just like the band's font.

Nirvana, L.L.C, the plaintiff within the case, was fashioned in 1997 to handle the band's affairs by surviving members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, together with the property for late frontman Kurt Cobain, managed by Cobain's widow Courtney Love. The firm's lawsuit is claiming that the sale of the smiley face-featuring Marc Jacobs merchandise constitutes copyright infringement, false designation of origin, trademark infringement and unfair competitors. 

The movement to dimiss that case additionally argues that whereas the copyright for the "X-Eye Smiley Face" was registered to Cobain circa 1991, it’s unclear when or how the registration (known as the "'166 Registration") was transferred to Nirvana, Inc. as each the creator of the work and the copyright claimant. "The Complaint doesn’t allege how or whether or not Mr. Cobain’s rights in all or a part of the art work had been transferred to Nirvana, Inc.," the movement reads. "The Complaint can be silent on who created the opposite elements of the registered art work and the way or whether or not these rights had been transferred."

Also included within the movement is a side-by-side chart evaluating the elements of the Nirvana brand to the imagery utilized by Marc Jacobs, in addition to optimistic feedback made by Love and her daughter with Cobain, Frances Bean Cobain, concerning the Marc Jacobs assortment on Instagram.

"Both Ms. Love and Ms. Cobain 'appreciated' and commented on the pictures of the gathering that Mr. Jacobs posted on his Instagram feed, together with, notably, photographs of Mr. Jacobs within the t-shirt that is among the Accused Products. Ms. Love commented on one of many photographs of Mr. Jacobs in that shirt, saying, 'Nice picture! Looks some [sic] what acquainted! Amazing!'” 

The Nirvana, L.L.C. lawsuit additionally names shops Saks Incorporated and Neiman Marcus as defendants for promoting the allegedly infringing merchandise. The swimsuit is searching for financial damages in addition to the cease of sale of these objects and the removing of the smiley face imagery from all Marc Jacobs promotional supplies.

Attorneys for each side declined to remark.