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 Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Wild’ is both unsettling and triumphant

This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Reese Witherspoon in a scene from the film, "Wild."

Reese Witherspoon leaves her comfort zone as real-life hiker Cheryl Strayed in "Wild."

in Entertainment

Cameron Diaz engaged to Good Charlotte star

camerondiaz

The "Charlie's Angels" star is reportedly planning to marry Benji Madden.

in Entertainment

MOVIES: 25 Days of Christmas Films

James Stewart, center, is reunited with his wife, Donna Reed, left, and children during the last scene of Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life".

Count down to Christmas with these 25 festive holiday movies.

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘TIS THE SEASON: Holiday specials, bowl games this weekend

Elf

Here's a look at Christmas classics, holiday favorites, and sports specials airing this weekend.

in Entertainment

Stars lose millions of followers in Instagram crackdown

kim-kardashian2

Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian are among the celebs who lost fake followers when the social media service purged fraudulent accounts.