Rihanna has won a legal battle against Topshop. You may recall the singer filed suit against the London-based fast fashion retailers after it began offering for sale a t-shirt bearing her image without her authorization. Following a July 2013 ruling, Topshop asked a British court to overturn the ruling that stopped it from selling t-shirts with a picture of singer Rihanna on the front. In a somewhat unprecedented ruling in the UK, Mr Justice Birss ruled in favor of the singer in the High Court in July 2013, holding that Topshop’s sale of the “Rihanna T-shirt” constitutes an act of “passing off,” and finding that some buyers would have been deceived into buying the top because of a “false belief” it had been approved by the singer.
Well, the Court of Appeal in London has ruled in the same way, upholding a ban on the store selling a sleeveless T-shirt featuring a photo of the star without obtaining her permission. In the first successful celebrity case of its kind in the UK, three appeal judges agreed marketing the item without Rihanna’s approval amounted to “passing off.” While Topshop lawyers argued there was “no intention to create an appearance of an endorsement or promotion,” the Court of Appeals unanimously ruled to dismiss the appeal.