Rihanna's passing-off claim against Topshop succeeds

The High Court has held that sales of T-shirts bearing a photograph of the popstar Rihanna, without her approval, constituted passing off. 

The case centred on the sale by Topshop of T-shirts bearing an image of the popstar Rihanna. Topshop had a licence from the photographer to use the image but did not have permission from Rihanna herself. Rihanna argued that the sales of the T-shirts without her consent constituted passing off. She maintained that the sales would be damaging to her goodwill, particularly given her associations with the fashion world.

The case was not about image rights — a concept not recognised in any distinct, free-standing way in English law — nor was it about privacy or about copyright. It was solely about passing off and the three elements needed to substantiate a claim for passing off, namely: a goodwill or reputation attached to the relevant goods or services; a misrepresentation by the defendant to the public (whether or not intentional) leading, or likely to lead, the public to believe that the goods or services offered by him are those of the claimant; and damage to the claimant, arising from the erroneous belief that the source of the defendant’s goods or services is the same as those offered by the claimant…

If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Walker Morris briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below

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