Celebrity News

Oprah Faces Lawsuit over Use of Phrase – “Own Your Power”
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, overturned a lower court ruling and held that Oprah Winfrey must face a lawsuit brought by Simone Kelley-Brown, the owner of Own Your Power Communications Inc, over Oprah’s use of the phrase “Own Your Power” on her website and in her magazine.

Simone Kelley-Brown alleges that she owns the trademark on the phrase “Own Your Power,” and runs a motivational business. The Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, recognized her complaints and observed that it was entirely possible that Winfrey was “attempting to build a new segment of her media empire” by using the phrase “Own Your Power.” The court also observed that the truth would be known only if the case proceeds.

The lawsuit had been initially dismissed by U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty of New York in 2012, because he found that no one seeing the Oprah magazine or who had information about the related events would ever confuse them as created by Kelley-Brown.


Kelley-Brown claimed that Winfrey would have been aware that the phrase “Own Your Power” was trademarked by Kelley-Brown, as Oprah’s company would have made relevant searches while developing Oprah’s television network – OWN.

Winfrey is known to have repeatedly used the phrase “Own Your Power” including in a promotional event called “Own Your Power” and also on the cover of the October 2010 issue of her magazine.

The appeals court observed that continuous use of the phrase by Oprah Winfrey could become a “symbolic shorthand” for her products and branding.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

The defendants in the lawsuit include Hearst Corp, the publishers of O, The Oprah Magazine, Harpo, and Estee Lauder, one of the sponsors of the “Own Your Power” promotional event.

However, in a joint statement, Harpo and Hearst claimed that their editorial use of the phrase “Own Your Power” was protected by the First Amendment.


Interesting Legal Sites You May Like




Search Now

Mid-level Litigation Attorney with motions experience


Seattle office of our client seeks mid-level litigation attorney with 3-5 years of experience, inclu...

Apply Now

Environmental /Land Use Attorney with 2-3 years of experience

USA-CA-San Francisco

San Francisco office of our client seeks environmental /land use attorney with 2-3 years of experien...

Apply Now

Litigation Attorney with 2-5 years of insurance defense experience


Jacksonville office of our client seeks litigation attorney with 2-5 years of previous insurance def...

Apply Now

Attorney with 5+ years of complex litigation experience


Detroit office of our client seeks attorney with 5+ years of complex litigation experience. The cand...

Apply Now


Experienced Insurance Defense Attorney Needed


Insurance Defense firm (with 15 attorneys in Suffolk and Mineola location), seeks attorneys with 5+ ...

Apply now



INSURANCE DEFENSE / TRANSPORTATION LITIGATION Law firm located in North Houston seeking an associ...

Apply now

Hotline & Training Managing Attorney (IMMIGRATION)

USA-NY-New York City

Summary: The Hotline & Training Services Managing Attorney will guide, develop, and supervise the Ho...

Apply now

Legal Assistant / Paralegal


Our  law firm is currently seeking a qualified applicant to fill the position of a Legal Assist...

Apply now

Most Popular


To Top