Oprah Winfrey wins the trademark infringement lawsuit regarding the phrase “Own Your Power”. Last year the life coach and owner of Own Your Power Communications, Simone Kelly-Brown, filed a trademark infringement complaint. She insisted that her company created the phrase “Own Your Power” and the acronym OYP. The complaint was filed against Oprah Winfrey over the phrase “Own Your Power”. Kelly-Brown had applied for trademark rights to the phrase in 2007 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
It appears that the lawsuit was filed after an edition, the October 2010 issue, of The Oprah Magazine “O”, was released. The cover of this edition of the magazine was featured with the headline “Own Your Power”. Own Your Power Communications, has been running since 1996. The company provides life coaching, empowering events, a radio show, and a blog to help individuals employ useful strategies to achieve and realize their personal and professional goals and ambitions. The claim against Winfrey stated that Winfrey’s use of the phrase “Own Your Power” was violating Kelly-Brown’s trademark rights and that it was confusing the basis of her trademark.
Judge Paul Crotty ruled in favor of Winfrey. The judge decided that there was no confusion about the source of the above mentioned phrase, and also that Winfrey had the right to use descriptive phrases on the cover of the ‘O’ magazine. Furthermore, judge Crotty concluded that the magazine's "O" trademark was identification that the phrase 'Own Your Power' on the cover was meant to be a headline, signifying the contents of that month’s issue. In addition the judge ruled that the trademark was never used in bad faith by Winfrey.
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