Kurt Cobain 'MTV Unplugged' olive cardigan, guitar
Getty Images / Frank Micelotta Archive

Nirvana‘s lawsuit against Marc Jacobs will proceed. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a Californian judge has denied the motion to dismiss the band’s copyright complaint over the designer’s smiley face T-shirt.

In December 2018, Nirvana sued the designer for copyright infringement, false designation of origin, trademark infringement and unfair competition. The copyright infringement concerns Jacobs’ “Redux Grunge” collection, which Nirvana trustees claim used the band’s smiley face logo created by Kurt Cobain in 1991. The tees in particular feature a similar coloration and font, replacing the word Nirvana with “Heaven” and the smiley face’s X eyes with “M” and “J.” You can check out the similarities below.

In March, Marc Jacobs’ lawyers filed a motion to drop the suit, citing among other things that the two designs aren’t sufficiently similar. However, now a Federal court has shot down the New York-based fashion brand’s attempts to have the lawsuit tossed out once and for all.  We will keep you updated as the case proceeds.

Words by Sarah Osei
Staff Writer