Nirvana is suing fashion brand Marc Jacobs for an alleged breach of copyright over the use of the band's smiley face logo on its products.
Representatives of the late Kurt Cobain's grunge band claim that the fashion house has "infringed Nirvana’s copyright, misleadingly used Nirvana’s common law trademarks, and utilised other elements with which Nirvana is associated" through its Bootleg Redux Grunge collection, without Nirvana's consent.
The collection features t-shirts with the iconic smiley face logo with the eyes replaced by the letters M and J.
Marc Jacobs has been contacted for comment.
Nirvana said Marc Jacobs' conduct was "intentional, willful, wanton, malicious and oppressive" and that the band had suffered "irreparable injuries" to its rights and the loss of value to its trademark.
It said it was pursuing the designer for damages that will be determined at trial.
US luxury department stores Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus are also included in the claim for selling the items of clothing in question in their stores. Nirvana has asked that the stores remove the items from sale and pay the band damages.
The band also accuses Marc Jacobs of using its song lyrics to promote its collection. In one example, a tag line on one its products says it "sure smells like teen spirit", a reference to one of Nirvana's most popular songs, while Marc Jacobs personally wears a t-shirt with the promotional tag line of Nirvana song " Come As You Are".
The legal action is the just the latest to hit the esteemed fashion designer. In 2017 Jacobs was sued by three independent artists who claimed the designer copied a number of their pieces of work.