Skip to main content
Insight

Rihanna does not love the way the t-shirt lies - Court of Appeal confirms passing off ruling against Topshop

The Court of Appeal has confirmed a previous ruling of Birss J that Rihanna did have a case in passing off and could prevent the use of her image on one of Topshop’s T-Shirts.The Court confirmed there The Court of Appeal has confirmed a previous ruling of Birss J that Rihanna did have a case in passing off and could prevent the use of her image on one of Topshop’s T-Shirts.

The Court confirmed there is no “image right” or “character right” in English law, which would allow a celebrity to control the use of his or her name or image. Instead a celebrity must continue to rely upon some other cause of action such as breach of contract, breach of confidence, copyright infringement or passing off. Rihanna was successful because there had been a misrepresentation that she was associated with Topshop’s T-Shirt. Because many consider Rihanna to be a style icon, this played a material part in the decision to buy it.

To read an analysis of the key issues by the Fieldfisher Intellectual Property team, please click here

Sign up to our email digest

Click to subscribe or manage your email preferences.

SUBSCRIBE