Judge Takes 2 Minutes To Crown Rihanna The Winner in Topshop Battle
Rihanna t-shirts will no longer be sold in Topshop. Maybe they'll become a collectors item.
Pop star Rihanna has won her lengthy legal battle with heavyweight clothing retailer Topshop after a judge took just two minutes to find that the fashion chain duped fans of the singer by selling T-shirts bearing her image. You've seen the t-shirts. Everyone wears them.
According to the BBC, Rihanna's $5 million lawsuit against Topshop's parent company Arcadia was successful after her lawyers argued that the t-shirts damaged her reputation.
They said the picture was "very similar" to images used on CD sleeves for one of her albums.
Judge Mr Justice Birrs ruled that a "substantial number" of buyers were likely to have been deceived into buying the T-shirt under the "false belief" that it had been approved by the singer.
He said it was damaging to her "goodwill" and represented a loss of control of Rihanna's reputation - which is fair enough.
Topshop's lawyers had claimed the 25-year-old was making an unjustifiable bid to establish a "free standing image right" over use of her picture in the UK, though the argument doesn't really stack up, given..they splattered someone's face over millions of t-shirts and tried to flog them without permission.
"The taking of the photograph is not suggested to have breached Rihanna's privacy," the judge said, adding, "However, I find that Topshop's sale of this T-shirt was an act of passing off."
Topshop said it was "surprised, disappointed and perplexed" by the High Court decision. "There was no intention to create an appearance of an endorsement or promotion," it said, "We feel that the fact that Rihanna has shopped, worn and had a relationship with Topshop for several years appears to have been detrimental to our case."
Rihanna has her own fashion line at River Island, one of Topshop's biggest rivals.
Rihanna At Her London Hotel