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Rihanna legal team successful in Topshop misrepresentation claim

1st August 2013

One of the world's biggest pop stars, Rihanna, and her legal team have won a misrepresentation case brought against the clothing store Topshop, with a judge ruling that the company had passed off the singer's image for their own gain without permission.

The case, as reported on here by the BBC, centred on a T-shirt bearing a picture of Rihanna's face, which the Barbados-born celebrity had not authorised at any point.

The 'Umbrella' songstress was represented by an international practice headquartered in the US, whilst the Arcadia Group, who own Topshop, took counsel from a London-based firm.

In announcing his ruling, Mr Justice Birss said that, whilst 'the mere sale by a trader of a t-shirt bearing an image of a famous person is not, without more, an act of passing off', the circumstances of this case were a 'different matter'; the judge concluded that 'Topshop's sale of this Rihanna t-shirt without her approval was an act of passing off. I find for the claimants'.

Any newly qualified solicitors who are currently seeking vacancies through London legal recruitment firms or other channels will be interested by the results of this case, as it should set a precedent for similar claims in the future.