Oprah shuts down fan over trademark infringement

Brand value is the most precious thing for any company. There are limits and bounds to which they’d go to protect, promote and progress their brand. However, how does this stand out when a fan uses the brand name in some way to show their love for it? And what happens when that brand name is Oprah?

Oprah has prominent fans in Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Rigueur. These two ladies operate a podcast adoring Oprah. The platform talks about Oprah, her talk shows and is named Oprahdemics

However, the podcast is brought to the court now, over alleged infringement of Oprah’s trademarks. The case has been filed by Harpon Inc., which is Oprah’s production company.

The lawsuit talks about two prominent instances of trademark violation. First, the use of ‘Oprah’ in ‘Oprahdemics’. And second, the usage of mark ‘O’ in their branding. The ‘O’ mark has been associated deeply with Oprah, in her talk shows and magazines that quite visibly depict the mark. 

The podcast Oprahdemics uses the O mark with few alterations. Oprah’s company states that their brand has achieved such recognition and admiration from the people. So much that even a slight association with it can heavily boost any company’s performance. In the case of Oprahdemics, not only is there an association. But a high chance of confusion that Oprah even endorses it.

However, Oprah’s company has also been a little gentle in their lawsuit against their die hard fan. Harpon Inc., is not seeking any damages, but just wants the infringement of its trademark and brands be stopped. 


  1. David Blake Avatar
    David Blake

    Normally, a trademark is owned by the company that uses the mark. Simply coming up with the idea for a trademark does not create rights in that mark. In some instances, a trademark can be owned by one company or individual and another company is authorized, or licensed, to use the mark.

  2. Larry Colt Avatar
    Larry Colt

    I understand the importance of protecting one’s brand value and trademarks. It is crucial for any business to safeguard their intellectual property rights, and Oprah’s production company has every right to do so. While it is heartwarming to see fans show their admiration for a brand, using a trademarked name and logo without permission can lead to confusion in the market and dilute the brand’s value. In this case, Harpon Inc. has taken a fair approach by not seeking damages but only requesting the infringement to be stopped. I hope this serves as a reminder to all podcast creators and fans to respect intellectual property rights.

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