Another day, another fascinating BBC snippet with which to enrich our understanding of contemporary IP law. This time, courtesy of this Kat's good friend Lawrence Ryz (katpat!), comes this link:
[as if such a thing were possible, snipes Merpel]. They said the picture was "very similar" to images used on CD sleeves for one of her albums.Good news for serious IP scholars is that the judgment in Robyn Rihanna Fenty v Arcadia  EWHC 2310 (Ch), not yet posted on BAILII, can be read in full here.
Judge, Mr Justice Birss [the arbiter of all things cool], ruled that a "substantial number" of buyers were likely to have been deceived into buying the T-shirt because of a "false belief" that it had been approved by the singer. He said it was damaging to her "goodwill" and represented a loss of control over her reputation in the "fashion sphere".
Topshop's lawyers had claimed the 25-year-old was making an unjustifiable bid to establish a "free standing image right" over use of her picture in the UK. The photograph used by Topshop had been taken during filming of a music video in Northern Ireland in 2011.
In a two-minute judgment Mr Justice Birss, said there was
"no such thing as a general right by a famous person to control the reproduction of their image. The taking of the photograph is not suggested to have breached Rihanna's privacy. The mere sale by a trader of a T-shirt bearing an image of a famous person is not an act of passing off. However, I find that Topshop's sale of this T-shirt was an act of passing off".Mr Justice Birss however did not make an assessment of any liable damages in his ruling.".
Rihana's reputation here, here and here. She's a Bad Girl ...
STOP PRESS: the judgment is now accessible online from the Judiciary website here -- and on BAILII here