Jan 2, 2019
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Nirvana sues Marc Jacobs for copyright infringement

Jan 2, 2019

Nirvana is suing Marc Jacobs for alleged copyright infringement over designs found in the fashion house's recent Redux Grunge collection.

Via Marc Jacobs

The collection, a revamped version of Jacob's 1993 collection for Perry Ellis, is being called out by Nirvana LLC for using a near-duplicate of Nirvana's famous smiley face logo in promotional materials and on a tee, sweatshirt and pair of socks, titled "Bootleg Grunge."

According to the lawsuit, which calls for monetary damages and injunctive relief, Nirvana LLC made no agreement with the brand to use the slightly altered version of the smiley face, which features the letters "M" and "J" for eyes instead of the original logo's twin X’s. 

The complaint goes on to address the fashion house's allusions to the band's songs, including "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Come As You Are," in its ad campaigns and marketing material. Notably, Nirvana pinpoints a "Come As You Are" promotional image of the fashion house's namesake designer wearing the smiley tee, which also features the word "Heaven" written in a font very similar to the one used on original Nirvana merchandise. 

Filed in the United States District Court for the District of Central California, the suit said the collection "misleadingly used Nirvana’s common law trademarks, and utilized other elements with which Nirvana is widely associated to make it appear that Nirvana has endorsed or is otherwise associated" with the collection.

In addition to targeting the Marc Jacobs fashion house, the legal filing also names Saks and Neiman Marcus as defendants, as both retailers currently carry the Redux Grunge collection in stores and online.  
Representatives from Marc Jacobs have yet to issue a public response, and the smiley face items are still available for purchase on the brand's website. 

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