Speed Reads

See you in court

Nirvana's copyright lawsuit against Marc Jacobs can advance, judge rules

It smells like court spirit for Marc Jacobs. A California judge is allowing Nirvana to proceed with a copyright infringement lawsuit against the designer for his "reinterpreted" use of the band's happy face logo.

In December 2018 Nirvana sued Jacobs, claiming a shirt in Jacobs' Bootleg Redux Grunge collection is a rip off of the logo Kurt Cobain designed in 1991. In March, Jacobs responded by filing a motion to dismiss the case arguing that the designs are not sufficiently similar and that there are technicalities in Nirvana's ownership of the logo, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge John Kronsdadt disagreed with the designer's claims. He ruled that the similarities between the two shirts are adequate and that the technicalities in the legality of the band's registration for the logo are insufficient, Rolling Stone reports.

In his motion to dismiss, The Guardian noted, Jacobs claimed that he was "inspired" by the classic vintage logo but put his own mark on it (no pun intended). Nirvana alleges the use of the logo "misled the public into falsely believing that Nirvana endorses the entire 'Bootleg Redux Grunge' collection … when Nirvana has not done so."

Kronstadt asserted that the only "discernible differences" between the two T-shirts is that Jacob's features M and J initials for the eyes versus the band's use of two X's, notes the Reporter. The judge ultimately decided on Thursday that there was enough there to bolster the band's claims and the suit could survive the dismissal. Brielle Diskin