News

Rihanna wins Topshop T-shirt legal case

Rihanna wins Topshop T-shirt legal case

Rihanna won a legal case against s British fashion chain for using her image without her approval. Photo: Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Barbadian singer Rihanna on Wednesday won a legal case against British fashion chain Topshop over the use of her image on a T-shirt it sold without her approval.

High Court Judge Birss ruled in Rihanna’s favor following a four-day hearing earlier this month.

In March last year Topshop, which is owned by billionaire Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, started 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 Rihanna was filming a music video. Topshop had a license from the photographer but no license from Rihanna.

Rihanna, 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 his judgment Birss said “a substantial number” of shoppers were likely 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.

Topshop said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the judgment and would seek permission to appeal.

“We robustly dispute the Judge’s conclusion,” it said, adding: “There was no evidence of consumer confusion to support the Judge’s conclusion.”

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 a 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,” said Sarah Byrt, intellectual property partner at law firm Mayer Brown.

Recent Headlines

in Music

17 pictures of Katy Perry on her 30th birthday

Fresh
katyperry

The pop princess is saying goodbye to her 20s.

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

beatles

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable moments.

in Music

This week’s top pop songs

trainor

LISTEN: This week's top pop songs, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Music

Taylor Swift ‘Shakes Off’ country image

taylorswift

The "Shake It Off" singer fought with her record label to ditch her country girl image and become a pop star.

in Entertainment

TLC cancels ‘Honey Boo Boo’

honeybooboo

The hit reality TV show is off the air after allegations family matriarch Mama June is dating a convicted sex offender.