The German publisher of an adult fetish magazine called “O” has lost his court bid to claim that Oprah Winfrey’s publication — also named “O” — was tarnishing his trademark, a New York court ruled Monday, reports Reuters.
U.S. District Judge John Koeltl threw out the lawsuit filed by Ronald Brockmeyer, who bought the trademark in 1996 after its previous holder, the publisher of an allegedly S&M-fashion magazine, went bankrupt.
Only four issues of Brockmeyer’s magazine have appeared in the U.S. since 1995, says the news service, noting that its coverlines stress the fetish aspect of the publication’s contents. The judge noted the magazine’s “whip-bearing, naked women engaged in sadomasochistic and lesbian acts” in his ruling.
Oprah’s magazine, which is personally overseen by the media mogul, 49, tends to stress more family-friendly personal and domestic issues.
As such, Koeltl said readers could not confuse Brockmeyer’s magazine with Winfrey’s.
“It is virtually impossible to find even a single image or article from the plaintiff’s magazine that would not be jarringly out of place in ‘O The Oprah Magazine’ and vice versa,” he said in a decision.
“No ordinary prudent reader would view the contents of the magazines as similar, and no reasonable reader seeking the contents of one magazine would turn to the other.”