Earlier this year, in the most recent high-profile right of publicity case, Rihanna sued British retailer Topshop for using her likeness to sell t-shirts. Rihanna asked a British court to decide whether the public was deceived into thinking that she had endorsed the product. Last month, a London judge responded affirmatively and ruled in her favor, granting a permanent injunction, while citing that the sale of the shirt without Rihanna's permission constituted "passing-off."
Retailers and fashion companies using iconic or celebrity images to sell products should be aware of right of publicity laws to ensure compliance and avoid lawsuits.
In the first of a two-part episode of Fashion Counsel, Anthony Lupo talks with California Managing Partner, Robert O'Brien about the various nuances of right of publicity laws for celebrities in different jurisdictions.
Click here to view video link.