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The publisher of a German erotic magazine has filed a lawsuit in federal court, trying to force Oprah Winfrey to change her magazine’s name. Ronald Brockmeyer, the German publisher of O Magazine, brought the lawsuit Monday against The Hearst Corp., publisher of O, The Oprah Magazine. Harpo, Winfrey’s Chicago-based production company, also was named as a defendant. The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, says Winfrey’s magazine could ruin the German publication’s efforts to market its products and services because people will believe falsely that it is infringing on Winfrey’s trademarks. “It is impossible to quantify the immense damage this has done and will continue to do to plaintiff’s reputation,” the lawsuit said. The lawsuit alleges that trouble began when Winfrey registered the name of her magazine with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a “women’s lifestyle magazine covering 360 degrees of a woman’s life, guided by the values of Oprah Winfrey.” Although it was registered as O, The Oprah Magazine, it has been referred to increasingly simply as O magazine as its distribution has risen to more than 2 million since it began in April 2000, said attorney David Cavanaugh, who filed the lawsuit. Messages left with The Hearst Corp. and Harpo were not immediately returned. O Magazine has a print distribution of just over 100,000 worldwide and has been published on the Internet since 1995. It is described in the lawsuit as a premier, upscale lifestyle magazine for lovers of art, design, photography and exotic fashion. “It’s exotic. It’s erotic,” Cavanaugh said. “But it has class.” Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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