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Courtney Love & Frances Bean Cobain Sued By Designer Marc Jacobs Over Nirvana

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By Ryan Naumann

Courtney Love, Frances Bean Cobain and Dave Grohl have been hit with a counterclaim by fashion designer Marc Jacobs in the battle over an iconic Nirvana design.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Jacobs filed a counterclaim in the lawsuit brought against him by Nirvana L.L.C.

Nirvana L.L.C. handles the band’s business and includes Love, Cobain, Grohl and Krist Novoselic. Last year, they sued Marc Jacobs accusing him of ripping off an iconic Nirvana logo featuring a smiley face. Jacobs has denied the allegations of wrongdoing. He says is designs are his solely and not a rip off. The parties recently failed to reach a settlement during mediation. The case will now head to trial.

In newly filed docs, Jacobs says, “Nirvana’s claim for copyright infringement against Counterclaim Plaintiffs is predicated upon the existence of a certain smiley face design shown in the Complaint and allegedly created by Kurt Cobain in 1991 that is now purportedly owned by Nirvana as a result of multiple transfers in writing and by operation of law. This allegation finds no support in the sworn testimony of David Grohl and Krist Novoselic, the two surviving members of the band Nirvana, who could not identify the creator of the disputed work in sworn testimony.”

Further, “The 166 Registration is invalid because, among other things, it does not disclose the covered work as a derivative work and upon information and belief, Nirvana did not have consent to produce a derivative work based upon the preexisting designs.”

Jacobs wants the court to find Nirvana’s copyright is invalid. He wants their lawsuit dismissed and his attorney fees covered.

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The Blast

Nirvana L.L.C. sued Marc Jacobs accusing him of ripping off an iconic Nirvana logo with a smiley face. They claim despite having the trademark for the image, the designer used the logo without permission. The lawsuit is seeking in excess of $1 million dollars in damages.

The lawsuit takes issue with a collection by Marc Jacobs named “Bootleg Redux Grunge,” which featured a similar looking smiley face on socks, shirts, and sweaters.

The designer fired back and denied all allegations of wrongdoing. He claims to have introduced the world to grunge. Jacobs called out Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain, saying he had been close friends with them for decades before the lawsuit. Jacobs claims since his “grunge” collection he has referenced the style in many collections. He said the smiley face in question is his own work and not Nirvana’s design.

The designer has moved to dismiss the lawsuit. The judge denied his motion to dismiss and allowed the case to move forward.Love and the surviving members of Nirvana had battled for years following Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994. At one point they had dueling lawsuits over Nirvana money for some time. The trio ended their 20-year feud when Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

Love and Jacobs have been nice to each other since the lawsuit was filed. The designer celebrated the 25thanniversary of one of Love’s biggest albums.

Earlier this year, Love posted celebrating Hole’s 2nd album "Live Through This," and Jacobs liked the IG post and commented, "Best Album."

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