Rihanna wins legal battle with Topshop over unofficial T-shirt

Parent group Arcadia lost appeal in high court earlier today (January 22)

Rihanna has won a legal battle against Topshop after the high-street retailer used her image on a T-shirt without permission.

Sales of the clothing item have been banned, reports BBC News, with three judges at The Court of Appeal in London agreeing that marketing the unlicensed shirt amounted to “passing off”. Rihanna’s victory marks the first successful celebrity case of its kind.

Rihanna first took Topshop’s parent group Arcadia to court over this issue in 2013. At the time Mr Justice Birss, ruled that a “substantial number” of customers could have been duped into buying the T-shirt because it looked as though Rihanna herself had approved it. The picture printed on the garment, the singer’s lawyers argued, was “very similar” to images used on one of her album sleeves.

In today’s appeal, Topshop lawyers attempted to argue that Birss had misunderstood the law on celebrity merchandising and that Rihanna was using the law incorrectly. However, all three judges unanimously dismissed the appeal.

Rihanna is expected to release a new album later this year. The pop star has not released a new album since ‘Unapologetic’ in 2012, having previously released an album a year since 2009.