Legal battle continues as Marc Jacobs countersues Nirvana over smiley face logo


Marc Jacobs is now countersuing Nirvana over their iconic smiley face logo, claiming that the logo copyright legislation can’t be enforced.

Back in December of 2018, Nirvana claimed that the fashion designer used the logo in their “Redux Grunge Collection” without authorization. Jacobs’ design featured the letters “M” and “J” in place of the eyes, and the band’s name replaced with the word “HEAVEN.” Marc Jacobs then tried to dismiss the lawsuit in March, but a California federal court ruled that Nirvana owned the logo’s copyright.

Since then, Jacobs’ lawyers deposed band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, both of whom testified that they did not know who created the logo. Nirvana’s lawyers then responded, stating that neither of them were asked if they believed frontman Kurt Cobain to have created it.

“The apparent absence of any living person with first-hand knowledge of the creation of the allegedly copyrighted work in question, coupled with numerous other deficiencies in the 166 Registration that is the basis for Nirvana’s infringement claim are the basis for the counterclaim asserted,” Jacobs’ counterclaim reads.