Oprah: That's My Name, Don't Wear It Out

Talk show host sues Internet companies for using her name

By Matt Bartosik
|  Friday, Aug 21, 2009  |  Updated 3:02 PM CDT
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Angelina Takes Oprah's "Most Powerful" Crown

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Oprah's name can be found on all kinds of books, food, and products. But don't dare use her name without her permission.

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In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Winfrey has accused 40 makers and marketers of dietary supplements of

using her name without permission.

And we all know, you don't mess with the Big O.

Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., better known as "Dr. Oz," often appears on Winfrey's show, giving viewers tips about foods and products that can improve their health. Last year, Oz recommended açaí berries for improved skin appearance.

But companies selling açaí berry products have also marketed them as weight loss products. In late 2008, lawyers for The Oprah Winfrey Show began investigating alleged statements from supplement manufacturers who suggested that Oz and Winfrey had recommended their products.

"One of the companies took one of the things I said and made claims that I endorsed their product," Oz said.

"Neither Oprah Winfrey nor Dr. Oz endorse or are associated with any açaí berry product or on-line solicitation of such products," said Harpo spokesperson Don Halcombe. "Harpo lawyers are aggressively pursuing all of the companies that we know about or are reported to us."

Marc Rachman, an attorney for Harpo, has reported that more than 2,000 consumer fraud complaints related to açaí-berry-related products have been sent to Winfrey's website.

Harpo provided many of those complaints to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who filed suit against three dietary supplement suppliers.

Looks like Oprah is telling Internet scammers, "You get a lawsuit! You get a lawsuit! You get a lawsuit! Everybody gets a lawsuit!"

Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, remembers his spirit.

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