Fashion brand Marc Jacobs has filed a countersuit against Nirvana, with the brand seeking a declaration that “the band’s copyright registration is invalid and unenforceable.” This countersuit comes after a judge recently allowed the band’s copyright infringement lawsuit against the fashion brand to move forward in court.
Nirvana asserts that the fashion brand infringed on their famous 1990s band t-shirts and logo with their “Bootleg Redux Grunge” t-shirt collection, which features a similar smiley face. . The band’s original distorted happy face t-shirts showed the eyes marked out with X’s, with the band’s name above the smiley face, while the “Bootleg Redux Grunge,” shirts replace the x’s with M and J, with the word “heaven,” lying on top of the smiley face in a similar font.
Marc Jacobs originally claimed that the design was “inspired by vintage Nirvana concert T-shirts from the 1990s,” however they reiterated that their new design was “reinterpreted,” and used to reflect the brand instead.
Attorneys for the brand have been reportedly dissatisfied at being limited to two depositions to explore the creation of the logo. The brand has also cast doubt as to the logo’s original creation, as part of the suit, and have suggested that Cobain may not have created the logo at the center of this case.
“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,” states the court papers.