Rihanna Topshop T-shirt ruling: Singer wins High Court battle over T-shirt bearing her image

Published 31 July 2013  |  Andy Kerr
AP
Pop star Rihanna

Rihanna has won her High Court challenge against Topshop for using her image on a T-shirt without her permission.

The popstar sued the fashion chain's parent company, Arcadia, for $5m, claiming that fans may have been misled into thinking that she had approved them. 

The photo at the centre of the row was taken during a music video shoot in Northern Ireland in 2011.  Rihanna claimed that the image had been taken "without her permission" during filming of the video.  

Topshop disputed the claim but Judge Mr Justice Birss found in her favour, saying that a "substantial number" of shoppers could have bought the T-shirt out of a "false belief" that the image had been approved by the singer.  

He found Topshop's sale of the T-shirt to be "an act of passing off".  

Rihanna was not present at the court to hear the ruling and the judge did not make any assessment of damages.  

"The taking of the photograph is not suggested to have breached Rihanna's privacy," he said in his ruling.

"The mere sale by a trader of a T-shirt bearing an image of a famous person is not an act of passing off.

"However, I find that Topshop's sale of this T-shirt was an act of passing off."

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