Rihanna wins Topshop T-shirt legal case

LONDON, July 31 Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:49am EDT

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Barbadian singer Rihanna on Wednesday won a legal case against British fashion chain Topshop over the use of her image on T-shirts it sold without her approval.

High Court Judge Birss ruled in Rihanna's favour following a four-day hearing earlier this month.

In March last year Topshop, which is owned by billionaire Philip Green's Arcadia Group, started selling a T-shirt with an image of Rihanna on it.

The image was a photograph taken by an independent photographer in Northern Ireland while Rihanna was filming a music video. Topshop had a licence from the photographer but no licence from Rihanna.

In his judgement Birss said "a substantial number" of purchasers were likely to be deceived into buying the T-shirt because of a false belief that it has been authorised by Rihanna.

"I find that Topshop's sale of this Rihanna T-shirt without her approval was an act of passing off. I find for the claimants," he said.

Topshop was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Paul Sandle)