On Friday, Marc Jacobs’ lawyers asked a California judge to drop a copyright infringement suit filed by the owners of the Nirvana estate, according to court documents obtained by Billboard.
The case concerns Jacobs’ “Redux Grunge” collection, which Nirvana trustees claim used the band’s smiley face logo created by Kurt Cobain in 1991. Additionally, the Nirvana estate claim Jacobs’ brand also used Nirvana references such as lyrics and memes in the capsule’s promotional campaign. Nirvana is seeking monetary damages and to prevent Marc Jacobs from using its imagery in future.
According to Billboard, the Marc Jacobs lawyers argue that Nirvana doesn’t own the copyright to the smiley face design, that the registration is invalid, and that there are differences between the material covered by Nirvana’s registration and the artwork in Jacobs’ collection.
When the suit was first reported, representatives of the band wrote in a statement obtained by Forbes, “Nirvana has used that copyright-protected design and logo continuously since 1992 to identify its music,” calling Jacobs’ behavior “oppressive, fraudulent, and malicious.”
For more on the classic, pre-Nirvana smiley face logo, read how it became a counter-cultural symbol here.