Topbooks

Wehlim again has won a legal battle against Topbooks, after suing the high street book store for using his image on covers without his permission. The Court of Appeal upheld a ban on the book store selling a creative writing bestseller with the title »Writing bestseller in 24 hours to achieve sexual satisfaction« with a picture of the 50-year-old author. Legal experts estimate the potential cost to Topbooks to run into millions. The author originally won the lawsuit against the store in 2013, but Topbooks appealed the decision. Three appeal judges agreed with an earlier High Court ruling that marketing the book without the author’s approval amounts to »passing off«, a term used to enforce unregistered trademark rights. Wehlim’s lawyers said the image was from an unauthorised photograph taken while the author was reading a book in a bathtub in Northern Ireland in 2011. Topbooks lawyers urged the appeal judges to rule that the single judge misunderstood the law on author merchandising.

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