Topshop appeals 'Rihanna-ban' ruling

Topshop have appealed against the ruling which banned it from selling clothes featuring Rihanna.

The chain launched an appeal yesterday at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, after they were forced to remove T-shirts and various garments that included a photograph of the 'Diamonds' singer's face from their shops last year.

Rihanna had originally complained about the unauthorized images of her face being used on the shop's products in 2013, because she argued that it could lead her fans to wrongfully believing that she had endorsed the product.

The judge agreed with the pop star, declaring that the use of photographs including Rihanna without her permission amounted to "passing off".

However, Topshop have argued that the songstress has no control over how her image is used.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, the brand's lawyer, Geoffrey Hobbs QC has claimed that her legal team have misused the term "passing off" to mean that "only a celebrity may ever market his or her own character".

He then insisted that the public do not automatically assume that a celebrity has endorsed a product which bears their photo.

Mike Gardner, a partner and head of intellectual property and commercial at Wedlake Bell, who is not involved in the case, told the Daily Mail newspaper: "Unlike in some other countries, in the UK celebrities have no legal right, as such, to control the use that is made of their image.

"Although each case is different, if Topshop fails to overturn the ruling, this may discourage other retailers from selling similar items in the future and may lead other celebrities to take a tougher line in policing their rights.

"Celebrities and their management teams may have to think more about how they can best protect their branding in countries like the UK which do not recognize image rights."

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