The Court of Appeal judgment, delivered by Kitchin LJ, upheld the trial judge's, Birss J, finding on the distinction between endorsement and general character merchandising, bearing in mind that there is no image right under English law.
However, the Court of Appeal emphasised that its decision is fact specific, and Rihanna's previous links with Top Shop, including publicity appearances, may have implied an official collaboration between them.
The singer's successful claim in passing off therefore does not necessarily pave the way for other celebrities to sue companies who use their image without permission.
The Court of Appeal in London upheld a ban on the store selling a sleeveless T-shirt featuring a photo of the star without obtaining her permission. In the first successful celebrity case of its kind, three appeal judges agreed marketing the item without Rihanna's approval amounted to "passing off". "Passing off" refers to the unauthorised used of a personal image. The star sued Topshop's parent company Arcadia for $5m (£3.3m) back in 2013 over the T-shirts, which featured a photo taken during a video shoot in 2011. In his ruling in July 2013, Mr Justice Birss found some buyers would have been deceived into buying the top because of a "false belief" it had been approved by the singer. He said it was damaging to her "goodwill" and represented a loss of control over Rihanna's reputation in the "fashion sphere".