Take control of your image rights

Current English law does not protect your image rights (also known as personality rights) in a standalone way, making it necessary for brands, individuals and organisations to seek a combination of legal methods to maximise the value of their imagery.

We are specialist IP lawyers with decades of experience in the field of image rights management. We act for many well-known organisations, celebrities and sportspeople, helping them to get the best deals, maximise the value of their imagery and retain brand value.

Our expert team can provide a variety of cost-effective, reliable services to suit your requirements, including licensing contracts, passing off claims, trade mark protection services and enforcing copyright in specific images that you own. Our personality and image rights team will work directly with the brand, merchandising, licensing, sponsorship and data protection teams to establish an image strategy that works for you.

Read on for more information about the services we can offer you and get in touch by filling in the form opposite for a free consultation.

Client Testimonial

“I felt re-assured from my first meeting with Briffa that I had found the right team to deal with complex rights issues. Josh Shuermann (and team) handled the case in an extremely professional manner, explaining at all stages what my potential options could be. Briffa are responsive, innovative in their approach and effective in what they do. I too enjoyed the experience of working with the team, really nice people.”

– Christine Robertson, Client

How can we help?

Image Rights Management For New Celebrities, Influencers & Personal Brands

The internet has created many new celebrities and influencers with a sizeable personal brand, particularly on YouTube and Instagram. If you are one of these people it’s important to protect your brand at an early stage of development, especially with the viral nature of the web.

Our personality and image rights team works with many new celebrities, influencers and personal brands to establish an overall image rights strategy and help them maintain their reputation and generate income as the brand grows over time.

Licensing Contracts

To maximise the value of and protect your image rights, we will carefully define all licensing contracts. Our personality and image rights team will pay particular attention to the number of channels and ways in which your image or personality can be exploited — this may include voice, initials, team or squad numbers, or electronic, animated or computer-generated representations of a personal brand or celebrity.

Passing Off Claims

It is vital to ensure that you have a clause in any lucrative image rights contract that states you will take action against infringement to protect your brand’s position and investment. If you discover a company using your image without permission, we will pursue an action in passing off, working to demonstrate a significant enough loss to justify the claiming of damages.

Trade Mark Protection

A registered trade mark prevents the unauthorised use of words, phrases and images that are the same as or similar to their trade marks. Briffa can help you trade mark specific brand assets and copyright specific images to prevent unauthorised use.

Why Choose Briffa?

We have over 25 years of experience managing image rights for various clients.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your needs before any fixed-fee quotes are given.

We have offices in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, helping to protect you worldwide.

We offer an industry-leading service with short turnaround times and business-focused advice.


Can I trade mark my YouTube channel?

Yes you can. Well, elements of it. Your YouTube channel (in fact any form of digital communication channel such as TikTok) is part of your brand, and the more it grows, the more important it is to protect the branding elements that define what your channel is about, such as channel name, logo and any slogans or catchphrases associated with your channel.

Examples of Trade marked YouTube channels include MrBeast, JackSepticEye and Pewdiepie. You don’t need to have millions of subscribers on your channel however, with the increasing monetisation opportunities on the platform (such as merchandising and sponsorships) it makes sense to protect your brand sooner rather than later.

How can I protect my/my clients likeness?

Image rights themselves are not a recognised concept in the UK as they may be in other countries. Instead, the UK has several separate laws under which a persons image can be protected.

One of which is ‘Passing off’, which can be claimed only if it can be demonstrated that the individual has significant goodwill or reputation associated with their image, that the unauthorised use of the image misled the public into believing that a product has been endorsed by the individual and that person suffered damages as a result.

Although difficult to meet all three, one of the most famous cases in the UK of a celebrity successfully defending their image via this method is in Rihanna v Arcadia [2013], where Topshop sold a T-shirt line with an image of Rihanna’s face on. The license for this image had been acquired from the photographer however not from Rihanna. The possible implication that she had endorsed the product, despite not doing so, combined with the obvious fact of her status and influence in the fashion world and the likelihood of reputational or financial damage as a result, saw her awarded a favourable judgement.

Cases like these, their rarity and innate complexity, demonstrate the need for an experienced intellectual property solicitor to assist in managing the rights of high profile individuals.

Other ways to protect an individuals likeness include privacy and data protection rights, defamation laws, trade marks and advertising regulations.

How can I use a photographers work for my brand?

The ownership of photographs (specifically the copyright) is usually held by the photographer, or in some situations, the agency they were representing at the time the photo was taken.

If you wish to use an image for your own purposes, permission must be granted from the copyright holder usually in the form of a license that details acceptable use and compensation (attribution and/or payment). This can be complicated by issues such as passing off laws that specifically grant brands or high profile individuals protection from misuse of their image, and model release forms, which must be secured to use a persons image in a commercial setting.

For guidance navigating the specifics of intellectual property licensing and images feel free to get in touch and we will get back to you to arrange a free discussion with one of our team.

Key Contacts for Image Rights

Briffa’s specialist solicitors have been practising intellectual property law in the UK and Europe for over twenty-five years. Meet our team and see the faces behind our success stories.

Book a free consultation with one of our specialist solicitors.

We’ll start with a no obligation chat where we’ll get to know you and understand your current challenges.

Book your free consultation now

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