Oprah Winfrey Wins Lawsuit Over Catchphrase

Motivational speaker challenged use of "Own Your Power."

Oprah Winfrey is free to use the catchphrase "Own Your Power." The TV mogul won a lawsuit giving her the legal right to the phrase after a motivational speaker named Simone Kelly-Brown sued her for infringement.
Kelly-Brown accused Winfrey of illegally using the term in her magazine, TV shows and website and filed a lawsuit back in 2011, claiming a registered trademark for 15 years, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But in 2012, the lawsuit was thrown out after a federal judge ruled that Winfrey had a fair use right to use the phrase to describe her magazine. Kelly-Brown appealed the ruling in 2013, and a decision was finally reached last week — and the judge ruled in Winfrey’s favor. 

“Though they may aspire to do so, plaintiffs (Kelly-Brown) present no evidence indicating a likelihood of creating a global media presence capable of attracting an audience of millions,” the U.S. District Court judge wrote. He added that Winfrey made that showing by having used the phrase in good faith, in conjunction with other words and images associated with her overall brand, and to convey a “message of self-empowerment.”
Kelly-Brown, however, is exercising her right to keep coming for Oprah, and plans to appeal — again. is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.