The Barbadian singer has won a case against a brand that used her image without her approval.
Why the brand use Rihanna’s image?
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In the latest celebrity update, the R&B singer Rihanna won a legal case against the British fashion chain Topshop over the use of her imager on a T-shirt it sold without her approval.
In fact, High Court Judge Birss ruled in Rihanna’s favor following a four days hearing earlier this month.
In March last year Topshop, which is owned by billionaire Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, began selling a T-shirt with an image of Rihanna on it.
The image was a photograph taken by a freelance photographer in Northern Ireland while Rihann was filming a music video. Topshop had a license from the photographer but no license from Rihanna.
The Barbadian singer, who has a direct endorsement relationship with fashion chain River Island, took the case against Topshop under her full name of Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
In the judgment of Birss said that “a substantial number” of shoppers were likely to believed to be deceived into buying the T-shirt because of a false belief that it had been authorized by Rihanna.
“I find that Topshop’s sale of this Rihanna T-shirt without her approval was an act of passing off. I find for the claimants,” he said.
Damages were not determined.
On the other hand, Topshop said that it was “surprised and disappointed” by the judgment and would seek permission to appeal.
“We robustly dispute the Judge’s conclusion. There was no evidence of consumer confusion to support the Judge’s conclusion.”
Meanwhile, Lawyers said the ruling may have set a significant precedent.
“The Judge was at pains to make it clear that not every T-shirt with famous face on it will fall foul of the law, but when an artist has a lot to lose, they have every incentive to sue,” Sarah Byrt said, intellectual property partner at law firm Mayer Brown.