The legal battle between Marc Jacobs and Nirvana continues, as artist and graphic designer Robert Fisher came forward to claim he was the one who came up with the iconic smiley, meaning Nirvana doesn’t actually own its smiley face logo.
If you don’t remember, at the end of 2018, Nirvana announced they were suing Marc Jacobs for plastering their signature smiley face emblem all over his Bootleg Redux Grunge collection, which bears an almost identical design, in the same color yellow. There’s also a “Heaven” sign that is possibly written in identical font as Nirvana’s name, but that is out of dispute for now.
Now, as Robert reached out, and the designer claiming he had full support from both Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain along with his lawyers denying any similarity between the two graphics, they are safe to assume there has been no infringement. They also continue to push the idea that Jacobs’ version of the emblem has been suitably altered so as not to bear many similarities to the original – namely through the removal of the face’s ‘X’ eyes and their replacement with Marc Jacobs’ initials.
The case has been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus, but Jacobs’ legal team are now pushing for a summary judgement to be made – which means a decision will be made before it actually has to go to trial. Add to this that Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl reportedly testified that he did not know who created the X-eye smiley face and you get a pretty convincing case.