Oprah Winfrey sued for trademark infringement over use of 'OYP'

Oprah Winfrey is being sued for trademark infringement. According to court papers filed July 28 in New Jersey obtained by EW, the talk show maven — and OWN CEO — has been slapped with a lawsuit over her usage of the acronym OYP, otherwise known as “Own Your Power.” Simone Kelly-Brown and Own Your Power Communications, Inc., the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, claim the motivational communication services company originated the acronym and concept that people can “life their best life” if they believe that “anything you want in life is attainable,” and even solidified their usage by petitioning the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to obtain exclusive ownership of the term “Own Your Power.” Then Harpo Studios, the suit alleges, began to use the registered letters to “identify Harpo [and] Oprah … as advocates for individuals to ‘live [their] best life’ through self-awareness and motivational communication, the same type as OYP services.”

The plaintiffs say in the papers that they are seeking damages to reverse Winfrey and Harpo’s “brazenly unlawful disregard for the existence and use of [OTP's] trademark.”

“Under such circumstances,” the suit continues, “with [Winfrey and Harpo] being much larger, spending more money, having a wider reach, and an overlapping audience with the much smaller Company, particularly with one of the most influential women in the world at the helm … [OTP has] been irreparably harmed.”

A Harpo spokesperson issued the following statement to EW regarding the suit: “Harpo has not been served and we have no information about what allegations are being made.”

Read more:
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Comments (25 total) Add your comment
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  • Lisa S

    What a pantload.

  • James

    Oprah can pony up. Not like it’ll hurt her bottom line.

    • Jennifer Rodriguez

      Exactly! If she did wrong, which its seems was the case, then Oprah’s company needs to make it right. It’s probably not “Oprah’s” fault, but her people. Someone is probably going to get fired for missing that mark. I looked at case and it looks pretty legit people.

      • Ladyhawk

        Ah…someone who actually READ the lawsuit before making a post. Imagine that. I agree with you Jennifer, and, yes, it does look legitimate. Doesn’t appear to be frivolous at all.

  • truth hurts

    About time someone called her out for her b.s.

    • Ezara

      Nonsense. Oprah is working hard creating thousands of jobs. This law suit sounds totally ridiculous and no white person would ever be sued over something so ridiculous.

      • abadstroller

        Exactly.

      • ChaCha

        There it is…the race card. This isn’t about race…it’s about someone powerful stepping on the rights of the little person. I’m glad the little person is fighting back.

  • abadstroller

    OW doesn’t have to steal anything from anybody–why would she?–she can buy it if she has to, and her show has been using the phrase “live your best life” for years now. It sounds like a money grab from the other party. OW could–and should–counter-sue on the proprietary ownership of “live your best life”. Sounds like the other party started this ball rolling when they appropriated the use of the phrase…hmm, almost like they planned it….

  • Fex

    What a frivolous law suit by Simone Kelley brown. In my opinion people just don’t like to see a black woman with money and power.

    • abadstroller

      More like there are people who see others with a lot of $$$ and will do whatever it takes to get themselves some….

  • Ladyhawk

    There are quite a number of derogatory comments here. You really should do your homework before you comment on something that you know nothing about. READ the lawsuit. What is it that you think you know about the woman who filed the lawsuit that gives you the right to judge. Get the facts (Fast, Accurate, Concise, True) and get them straight.

    • ChaCha

      Thank you, Ladyhawk. But I have found it a futile effort to try to reason with the closed minded. This isn’t about race except to the bigots who try to say it is. It’s about someone with power and money steamrolling over someone with less power, and thinking they can get away with it. This isn’t the first time either that the Big O and her peeps didn’t vet their endeavors well enough or just didn’t care and claimed what’s not theirs as their O.W.N. They do it because they think they just can.

  • twal

    This isn’t about race being that both plaintiff and defendant are the same race. Do your homework.

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