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

Litigator with 5-10 years of general insurance defense experience

USA-FL-West Palm Beach

Boutique litigation firm is looking for an experienced litigator with 5-10 years of general insuranc...

Apply Now

Transactional Real Estate Attorney with 4-10 years of experience

USA-CA-San Diego

San Diego office is seeking a transactional real estate attorney with 4-10 years of experience.

Apply Now

Real Estate/Business Transaction Attorney with 8+ years of experience


Seattle office is seeking a real estate & business transaction attorney with 8+ years of experience....

Apply Now

Patent prosecution attorney with 3-5 years of experience

USA-CA-Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa office is seeking a patent prosecution attorney with 3-5 years of experience. Should have...

Apply Now


Contract Attorney

USA-CA-Beverly Hills

We are looking for a civil business litigator with 3+ years of experience who is capable of attendin...

Apply now


USA-CA-San Francisco

As an in-house legal counsel at Wix’s legal department, you will play a significant role in de...

Apply now

Experienced Insurance Defense Attorney Needed


Defense Negligence firm with offices in Nassau County and main office in Suffolk County seeks a full...

Apply now


USA-MO-Kansas City

Successful, expanding KC personal injury law firm seeks an attorney with 5+ years personal injury li...

Apply now

Most Popular


To Top