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Rihanna’s Old Instagram Post Is The Source Of Puma Patent Denial

Puma was denied a patent for a sneaker design it had registered due to an Instagram post Rihanna shared nearly 10 years ago.

Puma has lost a patent dispute for an Instagram post Rihanna shared nearly 10 years ago.

On March 6, the German sportswear company was denied a patent for a sneaker design it put in registration in 2016, Yahoo reports. The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) agreed with the Dutch shoe company Handelsmaatschappij J. van Hilst (HJVH) that the registration was invalid due to proof showing Rihanna was wearing the shoes before the patent request.

The EU’s ruling states that “the prior disclosure of a Puma shoe model by the artist Rihanna” invalidates the shoe design patent.

The Bajan pop star shared an Instagram post promoting the sneakers in 2014, 12 months before Puma’s patent request was filed. Shared in December 2014, the photos show Rihanna sporting the Puma shoe with a chunky black sole.

Puma tried to appeal the ruling, arguing that no one took interest when Rihanna initially shared the post. However, the EU claims that the “Diamonds” singer was still a global pop star and the photo was circulated by multiple media outlets.

“Rihanna was a world-famous pop star, it should be observed that both her fans and the circles specialized in the fashion sector had, at that time, developed a particular interest in the shoes that she wore on the day on which the contract under which the star became the applicant’s creative director was signed,” the ruling states.

“That being the case, it is perfectly reasonable to take the view that a not insignificant proportion of the people who were interested in music or in Rihanna herself, including her clothing.”

The decision comes one year after Rihanna reprised her role as creative director at Puma after taking time off to launch her Fenty Beauty and Fenty X Savage brands as well as enter motherhood.