A U.S. appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling and ordered media mogul Oprah Winfrey to defend her use of the phrase "Own Your Power."

Simone Kelly-Brown and Own Your Power Communications Inc. are suing Winfrey and her Harpo Productions for copyright infringement for using their trademark mantra in her magazine and on her website in an attempt "to build a new segment of her media empire around" the phrase, the Chicago Tribune quoted the lawsuit as saying.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday the plaintiffs' complaint has merit and the lawsuit should proceed. The decision overturns an earlier ruling dismissing the claim against Winfrey in March 2012, the Tribune said.

A Harpo representative was not immediately available for comment on the development, the newspaper said.