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Puma loses case against pop star Rihanna

By Susan Zijp


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Collab with Rihanna: Fenty x Puma Credits: Puma SE

Sportswear company Puma has lost a patent case against a sports shoe designed by Rihanna. This is according to a press release from the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The Dutch company, Handelsmaatschappij J. Van Hilst (HJVH), wholesaler of Puma, wanted to patent the design of the 'Avanti trainer' in 2016.

Judges then ruled that Rihanna, the creative director in 2014, was already wearing this model before the company wanted to register it. Puma itself went to the European courts after this decision.

The court used photos from Rihanna's Instagram account 'badgalriri' in the case. Rihanna can be seen wearing the shoes in mid-December 2014, before Puma sought to register the design.

Although HJVH argued that "nobody was interested" in Rihanna's shoes, the judges see it differently. The European court's press release states that "fans and the fashion industry" did already have an interest in the design worn by Rihanna.

"In December 2014, Rihanna was a world-famous pop star," the press release said. The design that Puma sought to register has now been declared invalid by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Puma can still appeal this.