International singing star Rihanna (Robyn Rihanna Fenty to the court) won a lawsuit in July in England against the Top Shop stores over the manufacture and sale of an unauthorized T-Shirt bearing her image. Merchandise (such as T-shirts, jackets, buttons) is a very big business; so the respective rights of celebrities and merchants are important. I frequently work on licenses and litigation in this area and know firsthand how valuable these rights are – and how seriously infringements are taken.
In the United States, celebrities routinely win such cases because the US recognizes a celebrity’s “right of publicity” — that’s the right to control most commercial exploitations of a celebrity’s name, likeness, and biographical details.
Continue reading “The T- Shirt Found No Love – Rihanna Wins in Court”