How to protect an image

There is in English law no free-standing general concept of ‘image rights’ protecting against the reproduction of a person’s image. However, there are other ways in which an image can be protected, as was seen recently in the singer Rihanna’s successful passing-off action against Topshop. The High Court judgment in Hearst v AVELA is another illustration of this.

The claimant, Hearst, was the successor of the originator of the cartoon character, Betty Boop, and owned UK and Community trademarks for the word BETTY BOOP and a figurative mark. It licensed Betty Boop merchandise. It brought a claim for trademark infringement and an action for passing off against AVELA. AVELA denied infringement, maintaining that it was a legitimate source of Betty Boop imagery in the UK. It claimed that its source was reconditioned old posters and that the imagery was decorative and made no representation as to trade origin so could not infringe or pass off.

AVELA also argued that the trademarks were invalid for lacking distinctive character and that they consisted exclusively of indications of characteristics of the goods for which they were registered…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Walker Morris briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in

Register

It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer

 

Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.

 

Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.

 

Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Walker Morris

View more briefings from Walker Morris

Analysis from The Lawyer

View more analysis from The Lawyer

Overview

Kings Court
12 King Street
Leeds
LS1 2HL
UK
http://www.walkermorris.co.uk

Turnover (£m): 42.50
No. of lawyers: 188