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Anorak | After Chicago Oprah’s Aha Moment Comes Too Late For Alan Partridge

After Chicago Oprah’s Aha Moment Comes Too Late For Alan Partridge

by | 10th, November 2009

alan_partridgeFIRST Chicago now this: Oprah Winfrey might not have won her case against Mutual of Omaha for using what she said was her phrase “aha moment”, used to signify “flashes of understanding“. Alan Partidge is listening.

That’s right, Alan – if you’re rich and have lawyers you can trademark  a language. Every time your words are used you need to be credited, or better paid. Trademark your names, kids, and then ask teacher to cough up as she says it aloud at the morning register. Go for long names and charge by the letter.

The only danger is that if someone famous says your name on the telly first, they own it. You will either have to speak to their lawyers or get a new name. Think on.

Our Man in LA rounds up:

Oprah Winfrey’s people will be quietly licking their wounds for a while over this one.

Earlier this year, The Big O (Oprah) fired off a letter to the other Big O (Mutual of Omaha), after the insurance giant started using the phrase “Official Sponsor of the Aha Moment” in its ad campaigns. Mutual of Om-aha, get it?

Her Harpo Productions demanded that Mutual stop using the phrase because it “was synonymous with Winfrey and her show.

No, seriously.

Mutual responded by suing Harpo, saying the company had received preliminary approval to trademark the phrase.

This week, there’s word that the companies have reached an out of court settlement, which neither will discuss.

But a quick check of the internet finds that Mutual is still operating a website with the URL: www.ahamoment.com

The site contains no mention of Oprah Winfrey.

Aha moments come in all shapes and sizes. We know from the real people featured on this site and with those to whom we continue to speak, that aha moments are personal. They have been described as, “magic,” “enlightenment,” and, “that moment of clarity when all the pieces fall into place.” They’ve told us that having an aha moment is like, “getting hit by a bus,” and that it just “hits you.”

An aha moment can be realising that you do not own language. We don’t know who owns the phrase. But we do get:

Jim Nolan, a spokesman for Mutual, and Angela DePaul, a spokeswoman for Winfrey’s Chicago-based Harpo Productions Inc., would only say Monday that the case was resolved amicably.

Had only Old Mr Anorak trademarked “I;m A Celebrity…”, words he uttered upon arrival in France all those moons ago, he’d be even richer… Aha:



Posted: 10th, November 2009 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink