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Last month, I posted about the “Own Your Power” trademark dispute between Oprah and Simone Kelly-Brown, CEO of Own Your Power Communications, Inc. Kelly-Brown’s attorney read this post and contacted JETLaw with Kelly-Brown’s first formal statement containing updates on the pending case. Read below to learn more about how Kelly-Brown received the trademark, why she chose to sue Oprah and other defendants, and how Oprah seems to be blowing off this lawsuit.
-- Megan LaDriere
CONTACT: Simone Kelly-Brown can be reached through her attorneys
Patricia Lawrence-Kolaras, Esq.
The PLK Law Group, PC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Owning Up to OWN YOUR POWER®
Simone Kelly-Brown, Owner of Own Your Power® SPEAKS OUT About Lawsuit
Against Oprah, Harpo, Hearst and Others
Hillsborough, NEW JERSEY (September 12, 2011) – “As a small business owner since 1996, I selected three words to identify my business and the services I offer: “Own Your Power.” I knew the impact of these three words would set me apart, so I spoke with my attorney, Patricia Lawrence-Kolaras at The PLK Law Group, who advised me in 2007 to seek federal trademark registration for the word mark that I was already using. I secured federal registration for Own Your Power® on May 27, 2008. It has been my understanding that owning this exclusive right to Own Your Power® meant that only I, along with my company, Own Your Power® Communications, Inc., would be allowed such use. That was the whole point of getting the trademark in the first place.
“When I found out Oprah, Harpo, Hearst Corporation and several others were using Own Your Power for the same services as I use my registered trademark, I was really confused and hurt. It has been my calling to motivate and inspire the belief that anything you want in life is attainable, and I have been using Own Your Power® to do this for several years. I never imagined I would be in a situation like this. I am not really sure about all the legal implications, but my lawyers have repeatedly asked the defendants to discontinue using my trademark. My attorneys tell me that there have been some representations that the defendants would stop using Own Your Power®, but as of right now, I continue to hear that their unauthorized use has not stopped.
“In addition to filing a complaint against Oprah, Harpo, Hearst Corporation, Wells Fargo, Estee Lauder, Clinique and Chico’s, through my attorneys I have also filed a motion asking the courts to step in and mandate that any unauthorized uses of Own Your Power® are stopped. When media coverage of the lawsuit began, the defendants had not yet been served, however my attorneys have informed me that all defendants were actually served between August 4th and August 8th.
“Since that time, some of the uses of Own Your Power have been removed – some but not all. I have also been informed that although Oprah advocated the importance of own your power to a celebrity tennis icon in the final stages of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she appears to be ignoring the lawsuit and failed to respond under the law. I don’t quite understand – if the defendants claim that no wrong was done, why not just prove it in court? After all, the Own Your Power® trademark is property, and similar to a house or a car, the owner’s permission is required to use it. I want to be able to use my Own Your Power® trademark without interference and confusion just as defendants use their trademarks.
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