Rihanna wins court battle with Topshop over misleading T-shirt

Topshop found guilty of 'passing off' the T-shirt as an item approved by Rihanna herself

Rihanna has won a court battle with Topshop over a T-shirt that misleadingly bears her image.

A High Court judge, 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.

The picture was taken by a freelance photographer while Rihanna was filming her ‘We Found Love’ video in Northern Ireland in 2011, but the judge ruled that “the taking of the photograph is not suggested to have breached Rihanna’s privacy”. The issue, he explained, was one of “passing off”.

“The mere sale by a trader of a T-shirt bearing an image of a famous person is not an act of passing off,” Mr Justice Birss explained, but because this particular garment looked as though it was officially endorsed, it was damaging to her “goodwill” and could affect her ability to control her reputation in the “fashion sphere”.

Rihanna was not present in court for to hear the judgement, BBC News reports, and no assessment of damages was made during this ruling.

The singer completed the European leg of her ‘Diamonds World Tour’ in Helsinki on Sunday (July 28) and will resume the globe-trotting tour in Macau on September 13.