23 Jan 2015

Rihanna victorious in Topshop image rights case

Celebrity image rights will be on the agenda at this year's Luxury Law Summit on 19 May as pop star Rihanna wins her case against Topshop.

Rihanna has won a victory on image rights Helga Esteb

 In what is thought to be the first reported English case of a celebrity winning a passing off case for unauthorised use of their personal image on merchandise, three Court of Appeal judges upheld a ban on the shop stopping it from selling t-shirts bearing the singer’s photograph. Topshop lawyers had argued that High Court judge Mr Justice Birss misunderstood the law on celebrity merchandising.

No control over images

With no personality/image rights in English law, celebrities cannot control the use of their images. However, Rihanna had been involved with Topshop though appearances which, the judges said, could have implied official collaboration.The judges also said that the celebrity’s fans were likely to believe she had authorised the T-shirt to carry her image. The Luxury Law Summit will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel, Park Lane, London on 19 May 2015. For further information, contact benmartin@globallegalpost.com.

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