Clothing brand accuses pop star Rihanna of copyright infringement

Intellectual property law affects nearly all industries, including fashion. It involves people from all walks of life—including, apparently, pop stars.

The clothing brand Freedom United has filed a lawsuit against Robyn Fenty, better known by her pop-star pseudonym Rihanna, for trademark infringement. Recently, Fenty collaborated with the athletic company PUMA, creating clothing that uses an “FU” logo. Freedom United claims that it has used a trademarked “FU” logo in their clothing since 2006, and feels that Fenty’s clothing is confusingly similar to its own

Freedom United insists that also insists that its logo is recognizable and well-established; it even claims that Fenty wore one of their “FU”-branded sweatshirts in 2014, several years before she launched her collaboration with PUMA. The pop star, however, insists that the “FU” letters on her clothing stand for “Fenty University.”

Although this particular case involves a fashion designer and a celebrity, the issues at hand apply to companies in all fields.

Logos that are too similar may prompt lawsuits

Although this particular case involves a fashion designer and a celebrity, the issues at hand apply to companies in all fields. This lawsuit involves numerous components that are all too common in intellectual property snafus.

The plaintiff states that the too-similar logos will cause confusion in the marketplace, loosening their brand’s foothold. The logos may also cause consumers to mistake one brand for the other. There is also a question of whether the defendant was aware of the plaintiff’s logo and deliberately imitated it.

Businesses and individuals must take heed, when creating designs, that their work does not look too similar to another company’s. This may lead to a lawsuit, even if the similarity was inadvertent.

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