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Marc Jacobs Countersues Nirvana Over ‘Virtually Identical’ Smiley Face Logo
By Thanussha Priyah, 29 Nov 2019
Image via Fabio Diena / Shutterstock.com / TungCheung / Shutterstock.com
Luxury fashion brand Marc Jacobs is entangled in a lawsuit with Nirvana for supposedly ripping off frontman Kurt Cobain’s ‘smiley face’ design. The offending illustration appears on a t-shirt in Marc Jacobs’ Bootleg Redux Grunge collection.
The rock band filed a copyright claim against Marc Jacobs back in December 2018, alleging that the brand’s version was “virtually identical or substantially similar” to Cobain’s design.
On 8 November 2019, US District Judge John A. Kronstadt sided with Nirvana, expressing that Marc Jacobs should not follow through with its motion as the design only had one difference, which was the X-shaped eyes being replaced with ‘M’ and ‘J.’
Although Cobain was the designer, Kronstadt added that ownership of the logo would likely go toward Nirvana, Inc.
However, Marc Jacobs has since countered the band’s complaints with another lawsuit, stating that the rest of the band, David Grohl and Krist Novoselic, were not able to identify the design’s creator during sworn testimony.
Marc Jacobs will be pursuing the counter-lawsuit with the claim that “apparent absence of any living person with first-hand knowledge of the creation” could serve as a reason for Nirvana’s lawsuit to be dismissed.
[via CNN, images via Fabio Diena / Shutterstock.com / TungCheung / Shutterstock.com]
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