16 January 2019

What's in a name?

Singer Rihanna sues father for use of her Fenty trademark after repeated demands to stop mispresenting an association.


Rihanna has sued her father for trading on her Fenty brand name by inferring that a business venture he set up in 2017 is associated with her.


The Barbados-born singer and actor, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, filed a lawsuit in US federal court in Los Angeles accusing Ronald Fenty and two business partners of fraud and false advertising over his Fenty Entertainment talent and production company. Rihanna uses the Fenty trademark to sell cosmetics, lingerie and footwear. She asked the court for an injunction to stop her father using the Fenty name, and requested an unspecified damages. The lawsuit states Rihanna has ‘absolutely no affiliation’ with Fenty Entertainment, but the company was misappropriating her name and misrepresenting itself as being affiliated with her.


The suit states that on one occasion, Fenty Entertainment accepted a 2017 offer by a third party for Rihanna to perform 15 shows in Latin America for $15 million. On another, the suit states Fenty Entertainment falsely implied that the singer was involved in a boutique hotels project. Repeated statements that the company has no authority to use her name, the Fenty trademark or speak on Rihanna’s behalf, had not stopped Ronald Fenty and his business partners to continue misrepresenting an affiliation with her, and litigation was thus necessary.

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