Rihanna has shown the world that not only is she talented musically, but that she is ready and able to reach out and carve out a place for herself in other industries as well. Within her other business ventures, she has launched multiple shoe collections, jewelry collections, a fashion line with Puma, and of course there is her makeup brand ‘Fenty Beauty,’ which has become a force to be reckoned with as it continues to rise in popularity. She has even announced an upcoming lingerie collection that debuts worldwide on May 11.
The Fenty line is named after Rihanna’s real name, Robyn Rihanna Fenty. While the Fenty Beauty line of cosmetics has been outperforming its competitors, her clothing line collaboration with Puma, aptly named Fenty Puma by Rihanna is arguably one of her most high profile business ventures, and is also the source of Rihanna’s most recent legal troubles. Rihanna’s “Fenty University” collection from her ‘Fenty X Puma’ line has become the target of a trademark infringement lawsuit by Freedom United, which is a California-based clothing brand. The suit is over the use of the “FU” logo, and Freedom United is alleging that Rihanna’s ‘Fenty University’ line knowingly used Freedom United’s ‘FU’ logo without their consent all throughout various Fenty clothing products.
In January, Freedom United sent a cease and desist letter to Fenty, claiming that Rihanna knew about the logo for several years before she decided to use it for her “Fenty University” line. They also requested that Rihanna discontinue Fenty University, and demanded a full accounting of all profits made from sales made from the Fenty University line.
In March, Puma answered back, stating that there was no comparison between Fenty’s ‘F.U.’ and Freedom United’s ‘FU’, due to the fact that Rihanna’s line uses a different font from Freedom United’s FU, also claiming that the initials “FU” in and of itself, is not unique enough to even be trademarked in the first place. PUMA went even further and explained that Fenty University collaboration between Rihanna and Puma was over, as it was only a part of Rihanna’s Spring / Summer 2017 Fenty Puma collection, and that the line was no longer being manufactured.
However, it seems that Freedom United considers this to be an unacceptable response, and reports state that they plan to file a lawsuit against PUMA and Rihanna. If Freedom University goes through with filing the lawsuit, it will be quite interesting to see how the courts will rule on whether initials can be covered by trademark law.