Marc Jacobs Says Nirvana Smiley Face Isn’t Copyrightable

Law360 (November 27, 2019, 7:04 PM EST) -- Fashion designer Marc Jacobs International LLC pushed back Tuesday against claims that it ripped off Nirvana’s iconic “smiley face" logo, arguing that it had not infringed the defunct band’s logo because the image allegedly drawn by Nirvana’s late frontman Kurt Cobain isn’t copyrightable.

Marc Jacobs, along with retailers Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. LLC and Saks Inc., argue that Nirvana LLC can't stop it from using the band's smiley face design since the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has refused to register the logo, as recently as this summer. The smiley face at issue has X's for eyes, a squiggly mouth and a...

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