Oprah Sued Over "Own Your Power" Motto

New Jersey businesswoman claims the talk-show maven stole the phrase and its "live your best life" philosophy.

Posted: 07/30/2011 02:34 PM EDT
Filed Under Oprah Winfrey

More money, more problems? Oprah Winfrey, who already has her hands full trying to rescue her struggling OWN network, is now being sued for trademark infringement.

 

According to Entertainment Weekly, court papers were filed Thursday (July 28) accusing the media mogul and her company, Harpo Productions, of stealing the motto “Own Your Power.” In the suit, filed in a New Jersey federal court, Simone Kelly-Brown, CEO of Own Your Power Communications Inc., claims her own company created the phrase and its underlying philosophy that people can “live their best life” if they believe that “anything you want in life is attainable.”

The suit says that the infringement started with the October 2010 issue of Oprah’s O magazine, which included the headline “Own Your Power,” and then continued when the mag began directing readers to a section of its website, also called Own Your Power. Kelly-Brown alleges that things really came to a head when her company and Oprah threw Own Your Power events in the same city just days apart.

 

The suit seeks unspecified damages for Winfrey and Harpo’s “brazenly unlawful disregard for the existence and use of [Own Your Power's] trademark,” claiming it has “irreparably harmed” the company.

 

Harpo sent a statement to EW in response to news of the suit, saying, "Harpo has not been served and we have no information about what allegations are being made."

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