High end clothier Marc Jacobs is being accused of biting after their “Heaven collection included an animated face that is exactly like that of rock legends Nirvana.
Last December, the fashion designer was sued by lawyers representing the band who claimed that his company ripped off the design.
A squiggly yellow smiley face illustration first appeared on a flyer for a release party for the ‘Nevermind’ album in 1991. The design was later trademarked by the band in 1992.
Jacobs has now filed a response demanding the lawsuit be dismissed, according to Pitchfork Magazine.
He claims that the smiley face design featured on a t-shirt, sweatshirt, and pair of socks in his Redux Grunge Collection, released in November, does not infringe on the band’s own iconic (and copyrighted) smiley logo.
Jacobs’ lawyers argue that Nirvana, L.L.C. is not the legitimate owner of the “Happy Face” logo copyright registration, that the registration is invalid, and that the fashion brand did not copy copyrightable aspects of the logo.
The filing also claims that the smiley logo featured on items in his collection bears a similar squiggly mouth and stuck-out tongue as the Nirvana smiley, but swaps in the letters M and J for eyes, and includes the word “Heavenly” in a serif font that slightly differs from the band’s logo, adding: “Marc Jacobs reinterpreted the design.” A table for comparison was also filed, which you can view above.
Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, previously fronted a campaign for Jacobs’ Spring collection in 2017.