The Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court decision that Topshop’s sale of t-shirts bearing a photograph of well-known pop-star Rihanna, without her approval, amounted to passing off.
The Court of Appeal’s judgement shows that it is possible for a celebrity to bring a passing off action to prevent the unauthorised use of their image.
However, the outcome of this case was very much dependent on its facts.**
The court confirmed that the use of an image of a person on a garment was not, of itself, passing off and that under English law a celebrity does not have a right to control the use of their image generally.
**If you need more information in connection with your own business please contact IPR specialist lawyer, Karen Mason