Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Ariana Grande sues Forever 21 over alleged copyright infringement

New Jersey residents who follow developments in the entertainment industry may know that Ariana Grande has taken legal action against the fashion retailer Forever 21 and its beauty products spinoff brand Riley Rose. In her lawsuit, the popular singer claims that the California-based company used images of her without consent and even went so far as to hire a look-alike model in order to fool the public. Grande is seeking damages of $10 million for alleged copyright and trademark infringement.

According to attorneys representing the Grammy Award-winning singer, Grande chose not to enter into an endorsement deal with Forever 21 in 2019 after negotiations lasting for several months because the compensation on offer was inadequate. Forever 21 is accused in the lawsuit of using 30 or more images and videos of Grande in its marketing campaigns without permission. The retailer also allegedly used images of a model who looked like Grande wearing clothes similar to those worn by the singer in a popular music video.

The images have now been removed from Forever 21's Instagram page and Twitter feed, but they were viewable as late as April according to the lawsuit. Forever 21 declined to comment about the intellectual property litigation in an email beyond saying that it disputed some of the singer's claims. The company also said that it hoped to avoid a protracted legal battle by reaching an amicable agreement with Grande.

Attorneys with experience in intellectual property law may advise their clients to take swift action at the first sign of infringement. This is because failing to act quickly or not acting at all could encourage future infringers and make pursuing legal remedies more difficult. Attorneys might seek to identify intellectual property infringement by monitoring the activities of companies competing with their clients and checking the content they post on popular social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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