Rihanna wins Topshop T-shirt legal case

Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:42am EDT
 
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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.   Continued...

 
Singer Rihanna poses during a photocall before the Haute Couture Fall Winter 2013/2014 fashion show by German designer Karl Lagerfeld for French fashion house Chanel in Paris July 2, 2013. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes