Nirvana Smiley Face Shirt

Nirvana’s Smiley Face Design Lawsuit To End In Settlement


A three-way lawsuit over Nirvana‘s iconic crossed out eyes smiley faced shirt appears to have come to an end. The enduring design, which was first used by the grunge band back in 1991 around their diamond-certified hit album “Nevermind“, found itself the center of a legal dispute several years ago.

Design house Marc Jacobs rolled out a similar design to the shirt, which featured some slight alterations to tie it the Marc Jacobs brand. Nirvana‘s camp would go on to file suit against Marc Jacobs in 2018 for copyright infringement. However, in their argument they claimed that their late frontman/guitarist Kurt Cobain had created the original smiley face logo.

This led to an additional legal dispute from ex-Geffen Records art director Robert Fisher, who himself claimed to have crafted the image and accused the band of falsely claiming ownership of the design.

While the band continued to dispute the origins of the design, a ruling handed down last year indicated that Fisher‘s claims would seemingly be nullified, as the band somewhat successfully argued that even if he was involved in the creation of the design, he would have done so under a work for hire arrangement, due to him being employed by the art department of Geffen at the time.

Billboard now report that as of yesterday, July 09th, the three parties have agreed to settle the matter within the next 21 days. Terms of the settlement were not publicly disclosed.

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