Rihanna’s lawsuit against UK fast fashion giant Topshop has resulted in more good news for the singer. After Mr Justice Birss ruled in favor of the singer in the High Court in July, holding that Topshop’s sale of the “Rihanna T-shirt” without the singer’s authorization constitutes “passing off” and likely resulted in widespread consumer confusion, Birss awarded her a permanent injunction and a “reasonable” $320,000 in damages this week. As a result, Topshop will be forced to remove the t-shirt at issue from its stock permanently and prevent any similar use in the future. Earlier this year, Rihanna filed suit against Topshop for $5 million, stemming from its use of a photograph without her permission that was taken of her on a video shoot in Northern Ireland in 2011.
Mr Justice Birss gave Topshop permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal against his ruling. If his decision is upheld on appeal, the judge will then assess the amount of damages due to the singer – and how much is also due in legal costs. The judge said the estimated $1.5 million legal bill put forward by Rihanna’s legal team were “figures I find startling.” The judge said he was not satisfied that he could safely use those figures to decide what interim payment should be made today to Rihanna pending a full damages assessment.