Oprah Winfrey prevails in 'Own Your Power' lawsuit
A trademark lawsuit that was challenging the use of the phrase “Own Your Power” by Oprah Winfrey in her magazine as well as on TV, websites as well as in social media accounts has been defeated.
On Thursday, Paul Crotty, a U.S. District Judge in Manhattan, ruled that Oprah Winfrey as well as her production company Harpo Productions and Hearst Corp (Oprah’s publisher) showed that the phrase, “Lacks the resquisite distinctiveness” for it to be granted a trade mark protection.
Crotty also added that Simone Kelly-Brown, a motivational speaker as well as a business coach who filed the lawsuit claiming to have trademarked the phrase back in 2008, and Own Your Power Communication Inc., a company that is owned by Simone, failed to prove how its consumers will be confused in an event that Winfrey and her team used the phrase.
"Though they may aspire to do so, plaintiffs present no evidence indicating a likelihood of creating a global media presence capable of attracting an audience of millions," Crotty wrote.
Patricia Lawrence-Kolaras, a lawyer that was representing Simone, said that they will be appealing the decision that was made by the court.
Winfrey’s lawyer, Jonathan Donnellan said that they were pleased with the decision which was made by the judge.
Back in March 2012, U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty, dismissed the lawsuit only to have it being reviewed by a federals appeals court 14 months later due to the fact that the defendant failed to show that their use of the phrase “Own Your Power” constituted fair use.
In Thursday’s ruling, Crotty said the defendant was able to show that they were using the phrase in question in good faith together with other images and words that are associated with Oprah Winfrey.