Simone Kelly-Brown is the owner of the federally registered trademark, “Own Your Power,” one of the notable brands that The PLK Law Group has worked to secure for its clients. This combination of words was deliberately chosen and used to identify Simone Kelly-Brown and her company, Own Your Power Communications, Inc., as the source for self-awareness and motivational communication services. Despite Kelly-Brown’s attempt to prevent confusion by obtaining exclusive ownership of her OYP Trademark from the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”), Kelly-Brown became aware of a confusingly similar misuse of her trademark.
Simone Kelly-Brown notified her attorney that her OYP Trademark – designated by an “O” for Own, “Y” for Your, and “P” for Power arranged to create the Own Your Power® word mark – the unique concept that manifests the thought and imagination that anyone can live their best life by believing “anything you want in life is attainable,” and her exclusive rights were being compromised. The PLK Law Group recognizes that much like your home, car or bank account, intellectual property is an asset that needs protection from misuse and theft. While intellectual property can bring profit to its owners and add value to any brand or business, its misuse does the exact opposite. Kelly-Brown’s use of her already registered and OYP Trademark was even mirrored, with the first letter of each word used to identify others as the source for individuals to “live [their] best life” through self-awareness and motivational communication.
Parties Oprah Winfrey; Harpo Productions; Harpo, Inc.; Hearst Corporation; Hearst Communications, Inc.; Wells Fargo & Company; Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.; Clinique Laboratories, LLC; and Chico’s FAS, Inc. received a cease and desist letter notifying them of Kelly-Brown’s exclusive rights to the OYP Trademark, timely notification that any infringing use should be stopped. However, these parties continued to explicitly hold themselves out as operating “in Partnership with” one another in their national, multimedia, cross-promotional campaign of deliberate use of Simone Kelly-Brown’s OYP Trademark. This use included at a minimum: running an Own Your Power event, repeatedly publicizing the services offered at that event in The Oprah Magazine, on The Oprah Show and on the internet, and offering services online. Such use has saturated the market such that the public has since become confused, thinking that Simone Kelly-Brown, the owner of the OYP Trademark, is the secondary user or “copycat” of the OYP Trademark.
Kelly-Brown thus filed a complaint with the New Jersey District Court on July 28, 2011, alleging, among other things: trademark infringement, reverse confusion, trademark counterfeiting, tortious interference with prospective business and/or economic advantage, as well as vicarious and contributory trademark infringement. A large amount of media coverage has since ensued while the defendants, named above, were in the process of being served. A preliminary injunction was likewise filed, asking the Court to enjoin these parties, now defendants in the own your power lawsuit, from such infringing use that is already causing her trademark permanent harm. The Own Your Power preliminary injunction with exhibits was filed on August 12, 2011.