OWN YOUR POWER Found To Be Forgettable

Plaintiffs own a registration for OWN YOUR POWER for motivational services. The October 2010 issue of O Magazine displayed a photo of Oprah with the headline phrase “Own Your Power” and some other commands, such as ‘Unlock Your Inner Superstar’ and “Tap Into Your Strength.” On September 16, 2010, the magazine promoted an “Own Your Power event.” The event was promoted by the other tentacles of the Oprah Empire (the tv show, the website, twitter, etc.). Plaintiff sues for tm infringement.

Held: The use of the headline was non-trademark use, describing the contents of both the magazine and the subsequent event. Interesting discussion at footnote 3 implying that the phrase was not intended by O Magazine to function as a trademark as it was not a memorable slogan (such as ‘Gatorade is Thirst Aid’).

Sdny Decision Own Your Power

One response to “OWN YOUR POWER Found To Be Forgettable”

  1. Seems the SDNY is now employing a threshold test of “use as a trademark” to determine whether a case can survive summary judgment.  There is no such test in the Lanham Act nor has there ever been such a test implied – until the strange fact patterns of those now of little interest Internet keyword cases. Bad facts make bad law so here we are!  Why not just decide whether THIS use (whatever you want to call it) causes confusion, instead of causing confusion by inserting an unnecessary test (if it’s not trademark use, it’s not confusing use, and so on and so on…)