Jan 16, 2019

Fenty Family at War

Music artist Rihanna has made headlines this week after it has emerged that she is embroiled in a legal battle with her own father.

The pop star, famous for music tracks such as 'Umbrella' and 'We Found Love', launched her own label in 2017 named Fenty (after her surname). Since its inception, the Fenty brand has been a roaring success selling products such as cosmetics and lingerie under the Fenty Beauty line and Savage X Fenty line, respectively. The pop star has been commended for her makeup range which includes 40 different shade-ranges and is often flying off the shelves in the stores of high end retailers. It has transpired however, that Rihanna is taking serious steps to protect her brand against an unlikely infringer.

Ronald Fenty, the father of Rihanna and owner of Fenty Entertainment, an entertainment company dedicated to record producing, motion pictures and developing emerging talent, is being sued by Rihanna over the name of his company. It emerged that the music artist filed the lawsuit in a bid to protect her brand. Rihanna is reportedly concerned that members of the public will be deceived in to thinking that she is connected with the entertainment company. The filing goes on to say that the company has misrepresented itself as being connected with Rihanna and that it has authority to act on her behalf so much so that the company entered in to discussions for Rihanna to perform 15 shows in South America all without the music artist's knowledge or consent. Rihanna is seeking an injunction against her father using the Fenty name as well as damages.

Rihanna's rocky relationship with her father has been well documented. No doubt this latest dispute will be adding to the volatility of their relationship.

Current UK trade mark laws allow for individuals to use the 'own name' defence when alleged with trade mark infringement, provided the name is used in accordance with honest practices. The defence, however, has just recently been narrowed so as to not apply to corporate entities anymore.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: News, Trade Marks

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