Rihanna Wins Topshop T-Shirt Legal Battle

Hitmaker comes out victorious after suing a British clothing maker for profiting off her good name

By Josh Grossberg
|  Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013  |  Updated 11:09 AM EDT
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Singer Rihanna performs at Staples Center on April 8, 2013 in Los Angeles.

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Rihanna has a good reason to smile.

A London judge has ruled in favor of the pop star in the $5 million lawsuit she brought against Topshop, accusing the British retailer of using a photo of her without her permission on t-shirts that it sold for a profit under the name "Rihanna Tank."

Per the BBC, in his two-minute judgment High Court Judge Justice Birss declared that a "substantial number" of consumers were likely duped into purchasing the shirt because of a "false belief" that the "S&M" singer had endorsed the garment.

That's because the image Topshop acquired from a photographer was similar to photos taken of Rihanna during filming of a music video in Northern Ireland in 2011 which ended up being included in the CD sleeve of her album, Talk That Talk. And RiRi's lawyers claimed that such use of her image on unauthorized tees was deceptive.

WATCH: Rihanna breaks down in tears in concert

The judge agreed and added that the sales were damaging to her "goodwill" and had an adverse affect on her reputation in the "fashion sphere."

He was careful to note in his opinion however that there's "no such thing as a general right by a famous person to control the reproduction of their image."

"The taking of the photograph is not suggested to have breached Rihanna's privacy," Birss said. "The mere sale by a trader of a T-shirt bearing an image of a famous person is not an act of passing off. However I find that Topshop's sale of this T-shirt was an act of passing off."

The judge did not rule on the amount of damages the clothing giant has to pay.

NEWS: Rihanna slams fans throwing food onstage

A rep for Topshop's owners, Arcadia Brands Limited, were not available for comment.

Meanwhile, after wrapping up the European leg of her Diamonds world tour in Helsinki Finland, Rihanna is gearing up to play a series of shows in Asia starting with Macau, China on Sept. 13 with stops in the Philippines and Singapore before a swing through Australia and New Zealand. She then returns to the U.S. for another round of concerts kicking off on Nov. 9 in Denver.

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