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Marc Jacobs responds to Nirvana copyright lawsuit

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City, 11/18/93. (Photo by Frank Micelotta via Getty Images)
Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City, 11/18/93. (Photo by Frank Micelotta via Getty Images)

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Nirvana last December that alleged copyright infringement over images — used in the fashion designer’s “Bootleg Redux Grunge” collection — that allegedly copied the band’s iconic happy face logo. In documents filed Friday (March 8th) in a California federal court, the designer’s lawyers argue that Nirvana does not own the copyright to the smiley face design, that the registration is invalid and, further, that there are distinct differences between the material covered by Nirvana’s registration and the artwork used by Marc Jacobs.

CHECK IT OUT: Here’s a tweet by TMZ from last December with the two designs side by side:

The “Redux Grunge” collection, which debuted last November, is said to celebrate the clothing that became a badge of “cool” during the grunge era of the early 1990s. Nirvana’s lawsuit centered on a design featuring a squiggly yellow smiley face, which is very similar to the trademark owned by the band since 1992.

Nirvana’s lawsuit claims that the sale of Marc Jacobs products featuring the smiley face constitutes copyright infringement, false designation of origin, trademark infringement and unfair competition. The suit is seeking monetary damages, an end to the sale of those items and the removal of the image from all Marc Jacobs promotional materials.

Story source: Billboard

DID YOU KNOW? The exact origin and meaning of the iconic Nirvana “smiley face” logo with its crossed-out eyes and its drooling mouth are unclear, but most people believe it was drawn by late frontman Kurt Cobain and made its first appearance on a flyer for the release party for his band’s classic Nevermind album in September 1991.

INTERNET COMMENTS at Blabbermouth

“A squiggly smiley face. How original for either party. Ima copyright the stick-figure now (but with an umlat over it). Maybe I can sue somebody someday.”

Tony Whisman

“Hey Marc, you’re taking a copyright design from someone else. No duh there are gonna be consequences. Make your OWN content, and stop ripping off other artists. Idiot.”

Dustin Evans

“Cheap-ass design thieves, ripping off well-known artistic intellectual properties because they lack the creativity to come up with something original and iconic themselves.”

Tore Hana

“Yup, its pretty clear its a straight rip off with some minor changes to try and cover their asses. I hope this turd loses big time, and I don’t even like Nirvana very much.”

Joseph Ellis

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