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