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Marc Jacob Refutes Nirvana’s Copyright Claims

Written by Sena Tokel, Student from Southampton Solent University on 14 March 2019

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December last year saw Nirvana LLC accusing fashion designer Marc Jacobs of copying its smiley face icon in the reissuing of his “Bootleg Redux Grunge” collection.

The famous happy face illustration for the Nirvana ‘Nevermind’ album first appeared in 1991 and was trademarked a year later in 1992.

However, according to the fashion tycoon, the ‘Happy Face’ logo used in his fashion collection designed for Perry Ellis has nothing to with Nirvana’s trademarked image. Instead, Jacob claims the Redux Grunge Collection was inspired solely by the alternative music ‘grunge’ scene.

The dismissal, filed on March 8th has Jacobs demanding the lawsuit against his brand, filed by Nirvana in December 2018, to be dismissed.

The document states Jacobs “drew inspiration from the looks that his friends were wearing in downtown Manhattan and in the Pacific Northwest” and argues that Nirvana does “not own a copyright registration for just the X-Eye Smiley Face”.

Nirvana has not yet responded to the filing for dismissal.

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