The lawsuit, filed by Nirvana LLC last December, alleged that the items featured a smiley-face design that infringed on the copyright of the grunge band’s logo, which they trademarked in 1992.
The smile on the Marc Jacobs items is drawn in a squiggly line with its tongue sticking out, similar to the Nirvana logo. It also features the letters “M” and “J” in place of the “X” on the face’s eyes in the original, and replaces the band name with the word “Heaven” in a very similar typeface.
In its motion to dismiss, which you can read now via Scribd.com, the lawyers for Marc Jacobs argue that Nirvana’s trademark covers the entire design as a whole — the Xs as eyes, squiggly line smile and tongue, and the band name — but not the copyright for simply the “X-eye smiley face.”
They also dispute the timeline detailing how the copyright was transferred from Kurt Cobain‘s original trademark to Nirvana L.L.C., which includes Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and the Cobain estate.
Additionally, the request to dismiss names Cobain’s widow Courtney Love and their daughter Frances Bean Cobain as “friends of [Marc Jacobs],” and claims that both liked and commented on Instagram posts promoting the collection.
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