People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Honestly, The Honest Company is Getting on My Nerves

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Honestly, The Honest Company is Getting on My Nerves

Have you heard about the fight that's brewing between Jessica Alba's Honest Company and the popular mom blogger Honest Toddler?

Let me break it down for you. Honest Toddler is a hilarious woman who tweets and blogs from the wickedly funny point of view of a toddler. Honest Company is a corporation that sells baby crap. (Not actual baby crap, but you know what I mean.)

Here's the she said/she said posts they've both written so you can follow along.

Long story short, a few months ago Honest Company started poking Honest Toddler and demanding that she give up her attempt to trademark her name. Ummm, excuse me? Why does Honest Company want Honest Toddler not to trademark her own name?? Because Honest Company thinks people are dolts and will confuse the two Honest names, so no one can have "Honest" except for them. Riiiiight. Have you ever eaten a bar of Dove soap thinking it was Dove chocolate? Of course you haven't, because you're not an idiot. Wait. Maybe that's what happened! Maybe Jessica ate soap accidentally and realized how easy it was to confuse the two Dove brands and thought to herself (as her mouth foamed with soapy bubbles) If I could confuse these brands, people might confuse Honest Company with Honest Toddler! I have to stop this from ever happening! She quickly rinsed out her mouth with Honest Water (if it doesn't exist yet, it will) and called her lawyer in an attempt to protect her "brand" and "intellectual property."

Honestly, I think that's bullshit. I don't believe a word Honest Company is saying.

You know what I think? I think a big corporation saw a chance to bully and scare a mom blogger with a popular site and steal her name and hopefully confuse HER fanbase to follow a diaper company instead of a sassy toddler.

I don't think Honest Company is really worried that I might confuse Jessica Alba's ah-may-zing sun savvy style with Honest Toddler's observations like "Anthropologie, you may have changed your name but I know a Salvation Army when I see one." And how stupid can they be? I love Honest Toddler and her witticisms, but I could give a fuck about aromatic soy candles. I'm pretty sure I can tell the difference.
Wait. I'm confused. Is a snarky toddler saying this or a large corporation?? 
The compromise that Honest Company has come up with is to create a license agreement for Honest Toddler to use her name for one year. That means Honest Toddler would PAY Honest Company a royalty for the favor of being allowed to continue to use the name that SHE has made for herself and then after a year she has to find a new name and basically start over. How is this fair?? Honestly, my eight-year-old could tell you this deal sucks.

This is not a compromise! Honest Toddler has done all of the work to gain her 250,000+ followers, her book deal with Simon and Schuster, and her TV production deal with Darren Star, and now Honest Company wants her to pay a royalty to go forward?! How greedy can Honest Company get?

I haven't heard any word that Honest Company is going after Honest Tea. I bet I can guess why they haven't. Honest Tea is owned by Coca-Cola. Hmmm ... that sounds like a fairer fight and Honest Company must not be interested in fair fights. Interesting isn't it?

Last week Honest Tea was a sponsor at BlogHer and I jokingly asked the rep, "Has Jessica Alba sued you yet?"

He responded with all seriousness, "I'd like to see her try. We're owned by Coca-Cola."

Exactly. Honest Company isn't interested in fighting one of the world's largest brands. They'd rather squabble with a mom blogger.

This isn't the first case I've heard of a larger entity attacking a mom blogger and swiping her brand. It's happening more than you know. These types of groups are targeting mid-range bloggers who have built up a nice social media following and some brand recognition. The bloggers have done the legwork for free with their dedication, sweat, good content, and hard work and then these companies hire an attorney and swoop in and take their social media. The bloggers don't realize how much they're really worth or they don't have the money to fight off the lawyers. Either way, they lose their brands and are forced to start over with the few loyal readers who find them again. 

I'm not sure what's going to happen with Honest Toddler. This all came to light when she applied for the trademark and Honest Company moved then to stop her. In the scheme of things it doesn't cost much to trademark and protect your brand. I would recommend getting it done now before the vultures start sniffing around your brand.

One thing I think we can count on is Honest Toddler won't go without a fight. Honest Toddler has a quarter of a million fans on Twitter and she's not afraid to unleash them on Honest Company. She has a book that's making her money that she can use to defend herself and her brand and who knows what her Darren Star connection can do for her?

As a fellow blogger, I am standing beside Honest Toddler and defending her against Honest Company and I hope you will too. It doesn't matter if you have a small blog about your dog or a huge blog about fashion or a mid-sized humor blog, this is something we should all work together on. We could all be a victim of this sort of treatment and we need to start fighting back. We are all bloggers who pour ourselves into our sites every day. We work tirelessly to build our brand (big or small), to find readers, and to provide content. We don't do this so that a large corporation can come along and steal from us.

Let's hit Honest Company where they hurt: tweet them. (Corporations are terrified of Twitter.) Tell Honest Company and Jessica Alba to leave Honest Toddler alone and you can tell them I sent you! #thehonestcompanysucks

Here is a Change.org petition: Don't reject the Trademark for Honest Toddler.

P.S. - I'm currently working on a trademark for People I HONESTLY Want to Punch in the Throat. I wonder if Honest Company wants that one? I'll license it to them!

Like this? There's a lot more if you follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

114 comments:

Snarky Girl's Rants and Raves said...

I stand with Honest Toddler. What McDouchebags the Honest Company peeps are.

MrsSmith said...

If I punch someone in the throat are you going to sue me???

JD Bailey said...

I freaking love you for writing this. I have been waiting for the right time to post about it and I'm loving all the support I'm seeing out there for Bunmi.

With my blog's name - Honest Mom - I am for sure tuned into all of this and preparing for the possibility of attack by The "Honest" Company. The more bloggers voice opposition to THC, the safer we will be from bullies like them - and others.

Oh, and by the way, THC will never go after Honest Tea b/c Honest Tea was around first. In fact, Honest Tea could go after THC if they wanted to.

Thanks for blogging about this, Jen. Rock on.

Molley Mills said...

The Honest company is just being a bully and we ALL hate bullies.

Jen Piwtpitt said...

No, but they might.

Veronica said...

I happily tweeted The Honest Company and told them that they suck. I used #thehonestcompanysucks if anyone else wants to use that and see if we can get it trending. :)

bebe1970 said...

tweeted for ya!

Marette Schooler said...

I have been a customer of the Honest Company for a year now. I just called and cancelled my account. This truly made me sick!

Unknown said...

Dove soap, Dove chocolate. Perfect analogy. Why does a company offering nice organic items have to be so douchey? I'm thrilled for Honest Toddler's success! I will continue to champion her cause. -Frugie

CraftyGardenMom - Tanesha said...

Can I also add that since Jessica Alba is the "face" behind this company (and part owner) we should Twee-bomb her Twitter account too? I can't stand a bully but if a company that is marketing to moms and wanting to call themselves "honest" is going to be one - well, they better be prepared for the rash of shit about to come down.

Maria said...

Monster Energy drink does the same thing. They're currently going after Monster Fish Keepers. Because apparently people can't tell the difference between an energy drink and dirty fish tank water. Doesn't say much for the quality of their product.

Lady Estrogen said...

I still wish that 3 years ago, when I was naming my blog, I named it Honest Whore. SO, SO REGRETFUL.

Alba & her company are being skunts.

Freedom of enterprise & all that . . . FREEEEEDDOOOMM!!

Alissa said...

are they going to sue honest tea too? since i confused them with honest company...

Jen Piwtpitt said...

Just added her twitter to the post!

AL said...

I'm sure it's because they want to market a new product and/or line in the future called Honest Toddler.

Jen Piwtpitt said...

Wow. Way to go!

Lisa M said...

She should have rinsed her soapy mouth out with Honest Tea...

Sharon Greenthal said...

I love Honest Toddler and have never had any interest in the Honest Company. What a bunch of garbage. Will share this post.

Maple Syrup Land said...

HC seems to be trying to piggyback on the name recognition of a successful blogger, whose audience is who HC wants to market their crap to. HT has worked hard to build her readership and it seems ridiculous that some corporation can just swoop in and declare copyright infringement because her blog has the word Honest in it. Keep fighting the good fight, Honest Toddler...you have a shit-ton of pissed off bloggers who have your back on this

afterthekidsleave.com said...

What a load of...okay, fine, you made me say it...crap. Your analysis is dead on, and I'll be sharing this too.

Wendy Stoever said...

Tons of comments on THC Facebook page. LOL Keep'em coming! I've "liked" every one of them and commented myself. What ass heads!

Kim Phillips said...

Reminds me very much of how Chick-fil-A is suing the Eat More Kale guy because they have an Eat Mor Chickin' campaign. You can bet they wouldn't sue him if he weren't small enough to squash.

Cristina said...

I think Honest Tea needs to work out a sponsorship deal with Honest Toddler. Heads will spin.

Debbie Sweeney said...

No more Honest Water for my kids. Sad that the company for kids not only condones bullying but initiates it.
I"ll spread the word, never underestimate the power of a bunch of moms who have a cause!

Tanya said...

Just tweeted THC. "Offering someone to pay YOU for a name that they made for selves is not a compromise."

ann @ my life as prose. said...

thank you for writing this. i'm so bummed that more bloggers haven't come out in support of HT. i think too many are afraid that they'll not get ad endorsements. bloggers are STRONGER if they stick together.

thanks again for using your platform and challenging people to speak out.

Nepsi said...

I just emailed them and let them know we don't like bullies in our house and will gladly not purchase any of their products if they continue to engage in bullying.

Carrie said...

You can also email the Honest Company directly at support@honest.com to let them know what you think. This is bullying, plain and simple, and it needs to stop.

I had to register just to look at the site which is truly annoying since my "toddler" is headed to college in a couple weeks and I certainly don't need over-priced diapers.

Jennifer Deutsch said...

I bought some things from the Honest Company last year b/c of a groupon or some deal like that. All of it was crap. Soap didn't suds up and nothing cleaned like it should. Honest Toddler makes me laugh out loud and she is something that the Honest Company appears to not actually be: HONEST.

Lisa Adler said...

i LOVE your blog and jen's as well. and of course honest toddler. seriously WTF?! i did like THC, but i am going to re-think my monthly subscription if this is the kind of nonsense they are going to pull!

Julia Magnusson said...

I just sent them tweets (to Honest Company and to Jessica Alba). This is absurd.

Signed,
It's not like an HONEST cat

The Macons said...

My favorite thing about this was looking over in the side bar and seeing a giant ad for "the place to meet hot, Chinese, single women" with a picture of a girl with huge boobs spilling out of her dress. Ha!

hugskissesandsnot.com said...

I hate to read about crap like this. I honestly have never heard of Honest Toddler or Honest Company (because I'm a Twitter idiot and am always two steps behind the times) but my gut tells me to pitch my camp w/ Honest Toddler. Us bloggers gotta stick together!
I've read about the importance of copywriting my brand from other bloggers too but never thought much about it b/c I'm such small potatoes. But if I want to someday be big potatoes and rule the world I better get up to speed.

Maria Chilson said...

I sent @Honest a mean tweet and started following @HonestToddler. BTW I am a trademark paralegal:)

HANGRY MOMMA said...

Yes!!!!
-Hangry Momma (unless Jessica Alba gets hangry sometimes and decides to steal my name too) bitch!

Amy FunnyIsFamily said...

I'm so glad you wrote this, Jen. The whole situation makes makes my blood boil, and I hope the well-deserved backlash makes Alba and her band of bullies change their tune.

mom keck said...

It is the job of some intern to locate all possible sites on the inter-net that use any name that might pop up on a server with Honest and bully them into changing their name. How can you trademark a common word like Honest?

momopolize.com said...

I think Honest Company should just change THEIR name. I have some suggestions...

Pull-the-wool-over-your-eyes People
Corrupt Corporation
Fibbing Factory
Asinine Association

Myriam Francoeur said...

Last year, Lassonde (a Quebec producer of fruit juice, among many products) had to pay a small company after suing them for copyright infringement. The legal battle lasted 7 years and Lassonde finally bowed to social media pressure to stop appealing judgements and pay the fines... Let's make sure this happens here as well, and before 7 years!

Melanie Sheridan said...

The only thing I can think of is that they are hoping to expand their product line in the future and Honest Toddler is in the way of that. To which I say, too bad. You should have thought of it sooner and captured all the names in advance.

RachRiot said...

This is bullshit. I will get the word out (me and my 12 twitter followers) It is on like Donkey Kong!

9595ddde-fe03-11e2-bce8-000bcdca4d7a said...

Are you flipping kidding me? Craziness. I hope the Honest Toddler wins!!! And I have now added her to my daily must reads... after your of course :)

Michelle L said...

Am I the only one who actually gets why the Honest Co. is doing this? If they expand their line to honest toddler items, which I'm sure they will, having a trademarked The Honest Toddler will completely screw up their SEO. They own a Honest Toddler trademark already, but not THE Honest Toddler. If there is a movie/tv deal with The Honest Toddler then Google is going to mess up key word searches for The Honest Co. So $ they spend on advertising will be for nothing. Remember they only sell online and in a hand-full of stores, so this has all been word of mouth and web marketing. I get why The Honest Toddler is pissed, and I prob would be too. But I see why it's a big deal for The Honest Co. The people that are standing up for The Honest Toddler are being bigger bullies than the Honest Co. The situation sucks either way. But people need to quit bashing a brand who is only trying to do their job.

CraftyGardenMom - Tanesha said...

Wow, so you think it's OK for any company to just randomly decide that they can stop someone'e request to trademark a business name just because they "might" want to use it one day. What about if she wants to use it one day? Basically you're saying anyone who wants to trademark something with "Honest" in it can't. Because The Honest Co. says so. Right.

BunmiL said...

Thank you for all of the support guys. I need it. This has been going on for 3+ months. It's ridiculous. And no, JD/HonestMom, we will not them come for you next.

Domino Sugar and Domino's Pizza both exist. People aren't stupid.

and Michelle, not this does not make sense. If they were so worried about me, why did they interview me in sept 2012 talking about how I made them LOL oh so much?

http://blog.honest.com/lol-with-honesttoddler/#.UfUqFVP48v0

It's insanity. This isn't what our legal system was designed for.

Thank you, Jen, for sticking up for me. I appreciate it so much.

Jennifer said...

If they are trying to avoid confusion, then they'd be going after Honest Tea and Honest Kids as well. It's bullying at its finest! Absolutely ridiculous. They are so out of line.

BunmiL said...

And Michelle, I get that you have a history with them (http://mkokopelli.blogspot.ca/2012/04/honest-co-giveaway.html), but what they've done by calling my character into question- their CEO insinuated in multiple interviews and on the honesttoddler microsite that they launched last week- that I'm a liar, that they offered me a coexisting agreement that I turned down (365 days to use a license is not a coexisting agreement), that I'm difficult to work with, among other things, is wrong.

It's wrong. It's wrong to lie. Even if someone believes they're protecting their business, it's still wrong. Opposing the trademark is one thing (even if it's on dramatic, ridiculous grounds), saying terrible things about me to protect their image, pisses me off.

I went from a blogger they were excited to interview to enemy #1 in a matter of months. I'm still waiting for someone to explain that one to me.

Lisa said...

I didn't read thru all the comments, so if I'm repeating this, I apologize, but here is a link to the change.org petition against Honest Co: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.change.org%2Fpetitions%2Funited-states-patent-and-trademark-office-reject-the-opposition-of-the-honest-toddler-trademark-uspto-85740533%3Futm_campaign%3Dmailto_link%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_source%3Dshare_petition%23intro&h=oAQH886ro

Jessica, Science of Parenthood said...

Shared and tweeted. Thanks Jen for standing up for Honest Toddler. Perhaps we can get a #standwithhonesttoddler hashtag trending. Like #Standwithwendy but for bloggers. :) As always, Jen, you rock. A true champion. -- Norine of Science of Parenthood (but I know Jessica would agree cuz she loves HT!)

Alyson H. said...

Damn I have been eating my Dove soap for a while now and just couldn't figure out what all the rage was. Now I know. Thanks.

On a serious note, the Honest Company is obviously not. She should hire a new PR firm that would have explained to her that this is not the way to get customers. It saddens me that they are doing this, and will actually look into trademarking because of this. Thank you for posting this.

Stephanie said...

I think we all need to start getting Coca-Cola/Honest Tea on board with going after the Honest Company... its about time they get a taste of their own blood!

Julie said...

Did you make sure they knew why you cancelled? Hopefully everyone that does cancel for this reason lets them know!

Rebeccah Connelly said...

Gurl. We got your back. Twitter moms will make it RAIN up in here.

Aut W said...

done:

@jessicaalba - get off your high horse and leave @honesttoddler alone. #thehonestcompanysucks

Rebeccah Connelly said...

I can't decide which is worse - the fact that they are trying to push Honest Toddler around or that they actually think any sentient person could confuse the two. Give me an effing break.

Aut W said...

Signed and shared.

JD Bailey said...

xoxo Bunmi. Keep on, keeping on lady.

Arr said...

If I punch someone in the throat will you sponsor my legal defense?

JD Bailey said...

Thanks, Lisa. What THC is doing is pure insanity- really bad for their business - and it's just horrible to attack Bunmi on such a personal level. Makes me boiling mad.

Anne said...

Ok, I must be out of it. I only know about Honest Toddler (love it BTW). Never heard of the Jessica Alba Honest company at all. This whole thing is completely ridiculous.

Tweeting is good. Boycotting their products works well too :-)

Catriona Carver said...

Great story... off to tweet my rage against stupidity. Honest Toddler is a satirical tweeter... the other honest thing is dreary and self important.

Lyn said...

http://perezhilton.com/2013-08-02-jessica-alba-is-dishonest#.UgB4a-CYm-I
Perez is onto it! How damaging this will be for the Honest Co. - haha good luck trying to repair your brand image after this!

Darcy Perdu said...

Excellent post! Thanks for giving us the tweeting information too -- I tweeted both those addresses just now!

Celia said...

Did it. What a bunch of creeps.

Lindsey S. said...

Tweet, tweet! And I quote, "@jessicaalba, apparently #honesty is not your best policy. Quit picking on @HonestToddler and mind your own beeswax. #thehonestcompanysucks"

Kathleen Dragan said...

This reminds me of when Spike Lee tried to sue Spike TV because it was hijacking his name. Except that his real name is Shelton Jackson Lee, doesn't have quite the same ring to it. It was eventually dropped, but not after both sides sunk millions of dollars in legal fees into it. Let's hope it doesn't come to that...

Rebecca Williamson said...

Actually, telling people to stop bullying is NOT bullying. A consumer telling a company that they don't like their business practices and will not continue to shop with them is part of commerce. Honest Co. is a bully and standing up to a bully does not make you a bully.

Yes, sometimes there is a trademark infringement and companies have the right to protect themselves. But in this case, the names are clearly different and the products are clearly different.

Jenna Moore said...

I can understand THC's point of view. But clearly, they are not just protecting themselves. They interviewed THT first, waited, and THEN attacked. What appears to be happening is that they realized how they can capitalize on THT's following to launch their own line called Honest Toddler. Is Toddler really the only word they could use for such a line? No. The Honest Child. The Honest Pre-Schooler. The Honest Kid. Get a thesaurus, people.

Nancy Andreotta said...

We all need to stand behind Honest Toddler! We have been going through the same nightmare for the past year. A large corporation decided our name (NACKit!)was confusing the buying public and diluting their product name. Although we had done nothing wrong, without the resources to begin a prolonged battle (which we were advised we would win) we had to negotiate. Oh and by negotiate I mean completely change our name (in the next month). Corporate bullying stinks! Thank you for sharing, Jen.

Kortney said...

I'm up to 3 tweets now. I just tweeted their asses. @ak_chiomega

barb said...

well fuck. If the fencing industry gets wind of this, I'm in deep shit. Bombing their twitter account, and I've got my evil cat tweeting them too.

Shauna B said...

I love that. I'm going to try to work skunt into a conversation. Maybe with my g'ma. I'm not quite sure if I'm using it correctly but I'm sure I'll have fun with it while I figure it out.

rockerhud said...

Maybe I'm the only one in the world who thinks this, but I'm just going to say it. 95% of you sound retarded. Based on all the things I've read/heard, I'm confident that HT is blowing this whole thing up to get a little extra PR for herself. Anyone who actually thinks HT came before THC is kidding themselves and anyone who suggests that THC is going after HT because she built a brand and they need to take her customers is insane. It's laughable to think that HT has anything that THC would want aside from their already trademarked name.

This is just another case of the blind leading the blind. Everyone is blindly supporting Bunmi, simply because she's a "mom who's trying to start a small business". Nobody is reading all the facts. Everyone is running soley based on what HT is saying and what other HT fans are saying. I've read both sides. I've considered both sides. It sucks, but THC is right. In reality, HT is completely in the wrong. If people would just be honest and objective with the information, they would see that.

Take it from a person who has prided themselves on being super objective in all cases for my whole life, you guys need to calm down.

Machtyn said...

In your post you have already given Honest Toddler the perfect defense. Honest Company has no right to sue Honest Toddler if it also does not sue Honest Tea.

And, yes, sadly, corporate bullying is an artform in this country. Particularly in the realm of patents. Sue a company for patent infringement for an amount just less than the cost to counter sue, and you'll make a few hundred thousand dollars... at least.

Tiffany Taylor said...

I'm not really clear if THC applied for a trademark before HT or if they are opposing it. If the former, then they might have a legal case. However, in that case I would say that the problem is with the PTO and a too-broad definition of trademark classes. Just because both brands relate to babies somehow doesn't mean that people will confuse them. Corporations have been taught and told by IP lawyers to aggressively defend IP and potential IP and I'm guessing that is what has happened here. The smart thing would have been to negotiate a *fair* non-compete (not a 365 day temporary thing) and be done with it. Frankly, if THC launched a toddler line and called it something other than Honest Toddler, they have enough money and marketing to make sure that the brand still brings them bucks and business. If HT has to change her name, she loses everything. So for me it's looking at who suffers more from losing the HT trademark, regardless of who has legal rights to the mark (though I still don't get why they can't just both have it and coexist) and it's clearly Bunmi. This is a case where just because it may be legally permissable for THC to do something, and they may (not really clear on that) have a case, doesn't mean it's the right, moral, and upstanding thing to do. Even if THC has the right to the mark, it's still crummy to put someone out of business and ruin everything they've built just so your brands can "align" when you don't even have a toddler brand yet and could just as easily call it something else and suffer very little for it.

eliseandfam said...

Went to Honest Toddler because of you, staying because it's hysterical!

GJT said...

If it looks like bullshit and smells like bullshit? I, too, thought that THC was a partner or subsidiary of Honest Tea, MORE SO than any connection with The Honest Toddler, but maybe that's because I'm a loyal follower of THT and wouldn't confuse the two. Has Jessica Alba made any kind of public statement on this either? Because all I'm hearing and reading from THC is corporate legal mumbo jumbo and defamation of character.

Bunmi, you keep doing what you're doing. We've got your back. Thanks, Jen, for speaking up.

Phanie said...

http://www.change.org/petitions/united-states-patent-and-trademark-office-reject-the-opposition-of-the-honest-toddler-trademark-uspto-85740533?utm_campaign=mailto_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition sign the petition too

Sadie K said...

Well, was Honest Toddler once upon a time Honest Baby? I think Honest Company should spend their 24 hrs a day another way other than fussing and paying exorbitant lawyer fees to cause trouble for Honest Toddler. Honestly, since my girls are young, but past the toddler stage, both sites are moot to me. But honestly, I think Honest Company better take my advice and K.I.S.S (keep it simple sweetheart) and make the most of Jessica Alba's time with them. Won't be long till her kids are past the toddler stage and she will have other things to do with her 24 hours. Plus, Jessica's PR agent will no doubt advise her to distance herself from any silly lawsuit or any company engaged in such. Wise up Honest Company. Good luck to the Honest Toddler,who'll hopefully win, and may want to rename her site The Happy & Wise Toddler.

thebrandinfringementfirm said...

The outrage that has been sparked by this trademark dispute is quite intriguing. I think it is amazing the amount of public support Ms. Laditan has received from her following. Bullying can definitely play a factor in starting a trademark dispute, but that doesn't negate the complexities of trademark rights - which are certainly at play here.

I wrote about it here ---> http://brandinfringement.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/5-mistakes-that-will-land-you-in-branding-hell/

I look forward to seeing how this dispute progresses; it will be a great lesson for bloggers and company owners on best trademark policies and practices. tma

@Trezanay

thebrandinfringementfirm said...

"Honest Company has no right to sue Honest Toddler if it also does not sue Honest Tea."

Actually, that isn't true. While trademark owners have a duty to protect their mark from infringement, they are also given the discretion on whom to pursue. So, it's an imperfect defense.

@Trezanay
brandinfringement.wordpress.com

My comments on the Alba v. Laditan dispute:
http://brandinfringement.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/5-mistakes-that-will-land-you-in-branding-hell/

thebrandinfringementfirm said...

If there was a "like" button, I would press it, @rockerhud. An objective view is really needed in this situation. When the Trademark Appeals board rules in the opposition proceedings, everyone will finally be forced to face the music.

@Trezanay

I wrote about the Alba v. Laditan trademark dispute here --->

http://brandinfringement.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/5-mistakes-that-will-land-you-in-branding-hell/

thebrandinfringementfirm said...

Tiffany,

The first half of your comment is a great analysis! I like, so I'm pressing the imaginary "like" button!

@Trezanay

My comments on the Alba v. Laditan dispute:

http://brandinfringement.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/5-mistakes-that-will-land-you-in-branding-hell/

Kristen Best said...

I am outraged by THC tactics. They're gunning down a mom over a name. I hope this comes back to bite them hard in the end.

Mommy Shorts said...

I wouldn't think that Alba could claim ownership on the word Honest. It's kind of ironic, no?

Hey Mon said...

Boils down to money. There are companies that form and buy patents and trademarks just to sue other (usually smaller) companies.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/06/07/188370495/when-patents-attack-part-two

Google "patent troll" and you'll see what's going on here. Obviously Jessica Alba's company isn't secure enough in the ability of its business model to make money, so it is looking to profit by being a bully over its trademarks, patents, copyrights, etc. Disgusting.

Kait B. Roe said...

Ok, until I read this post I had never heard of Honest Company. I've been a fan of the Honest Toddler for months, and I like Honest Tea though I doubt it really is honest tea if Coca-Cola owns it. But who the hell is this Honest Company? Eff them, I'm with Honest Toddler.

Chris said...

Wow. I even told my wife in the grocery store the other day "Oh look Honest Tea - that's the company Jessica Alba owns that's suing Honest Toddler."

Head. Exploding. Will write to Coca Cola.

Marnie said...

"Have you ever eaten a bar of Dove soap thinking it was Dove chocolate? Of course you haven't, because you're not an idiot." Brilliant!

Stacey said...

You know. . . I could confuse Honest Toddler with Honest Tea if I tried hard enough too. :P

Jill said...

What really chaps my hide is that The Honest Company COULD have totally played this into more sales by partnering with other "Honest" products Honest Toddler Honestly Blogs about The Honest Company, Honest Toddler wears Honest Co. Diapers and what not, they could BOTH have benefited. But The Honest Company apparently does not play well with others.
Well, at least Jessica is an Oscar-nominated actress. Or whatever.

spoko said...

It's not that bad for their business, I'll bet. Lots of people are going to "re-think their monthly subscription," and then decide that they want what they want, and go about their lives. Few people will make an actual change and stick to it.

Cosmic Mommy said...

Hmmm... a quick little Google search shows The Honest Company is going to have their hands VERY full. Aside from Honest Mom and Honest Tea, you have Honest Kids (juice), Honest Hearts (video game), The Honest Kitchen (natural pet food), Honestly Good (Healthy Choice), Honest Fare (cooking blog), Honest Chocolates (online chocolate store), Honest Buildings (online networking platform for building professionals), Honest Appalachia (website for whistle blowers to leak documents), Honest Cooking (recipe blog), Honest Air, Inc (aircraft maintenance), Honest Pet Products (pet toys), Honest Insite (market research panel), The Honest Pint (subscription prose series), Honest Weight Food Co-Op (food co-cop)... that's the first 5 pages of Google and companies that are using Honest in their title. That's going to be a whole lot of litigation for The Honest Company. And don't even get me started on hos DIShonest The Honest Company really is. Go Honest Toddler!

A_boardman said...

I was a customer with the Honest Company, although I liked their products I found another company, Melaleuca, that is more inexpensive, works better and has more variety of products AND they don't attack the little guy. I made sure that customer service knew this when I cancelled my membership!

Abby Bean said...

Apologies if someone already brought it up, but this is strikingly similar to what Chick-fil-A is trying to do to the small businessman behind Eat More Kale.

Meredith said...

You rock for saying this so well and getting the message out. THANK YOU!!

themidlifesecondwife.com said...

I've never, at least to my knowledge, drunk a cup of Honest Tea and I can honestly tell you that now, after seeing how Jessica Alba's company (ridiculous!) is picking on Honest Toddler, I never will. Love your comparison to Dove soap and Dove bars! I've been a fan of Honest Toddler for a long time, and I'm happy to help you spread the word.

JEDI Mom said...

Honest Company isn't the only big name that does this kind of stuff. Susan G. Komen For the Cure has gone after many small healthcare charities that use the word "Cure" in their name or the name of an event. As in "High Jump for the Cure of ABC Rare Illness." I'll avoid Honest Company as much as I avoid *anything* related to Susan G. Komen.

Uptown Jackalope said...

Maybe if Jessica had given her kid a real name instead of an adjective this wouldn't be a problem..

lostinsuburbiablog.com said...

I'm with Uptown Jackalope! I say we get Mott's to send a cease and desist to Gwyneth Paltrow for tradmark infringement for naming her kid Apple. And Sunny Delight should sue Adam Sandler for naming his kid Sunny. Just sayin'...

Uptown Jackalope said...

Whoops--she named her kid "Honor", not "Honest".. Pfft--shows how much she's on my radar.. The best thing I've seen her in is the spoof of her on Family Guy--she had nothing to do with that which explains why it's funny..

Kelli Martinelli said...

If you are out to trademark everything with the word "honest" in front of it so that you can make more products to sell to people under dubious versions of what honest really means, and in so doing lay claim to an entire Identity of someone who is actually, legitimately honest, then a punch in the throat is only a part of the solution. They should be forced to remove "honest" from their name, and simply be referred to from here out as The Company.

Erika Fish said...

Trying to trademark common words is ridiculous. Reminds me of a trademark lawsuit in CA Wine Country: In our little town we have a really great Italian restaurant, Tavola. Francis Ford Coppola has a restaurant about 50 miles away that serves a meal once a week in the style of "a tavola." Guess who sued the little restaurant? But they didn't sue the local linen supply company named "Tavola." We've boycotted all of Coppola's restaurants, wineries and wines. And it shows that when people just use the results of a Google search and don't use their brains, all sorts of stupid stuff can happen. I love The Honest Toddler and get way more out of my time with her on Twitter. Some of the Honest Co shampoo I found for my daughter is so drying she seems to have cradle cap at age 8.

suzyhomeschooler said...

Confession: a few months ago, before I heard about this whole legal mess, I stumbled upon the "Honest Mom" blog and for a minute I thought it was part of the "Honest Toddler" brand. Turns out, two separate yet awesome moms rocking out the online persona. That said, I never confused Honest Company with Honest Toddler. I mean one sells diapers, the other makes commentary on motherhood. I'm pretty sure you'd have to be a few fries short of a happy meal in order to confuse the two.
After reading this post, I got curious so I Googled my own blog name...turns out there is another blogger with the same name, just a different spelling. And she is WAY more popular than I am. Eeek. I wish I had known that before I picked my name! There are only so many words in the English language though, sometimes these things just happen. There are two baseball teams that end in "Sox." Both a street drug and a soda-pop go by the name "Coke." Sometimes brands just have to co-exist and if Honest Company wanted their name to be unique, then maybe they shouldn't have picked one of the most common words in the English language.

rebecca said...

i've seen older but smaller companies attacked in just that way by bigger newer ones, but the smaller older one won the court battle.

Nana H said...

Did the majority of you guys ever hear "what you see in others is reflection of yourself"?

On the negative side said...

Makes me think twice about buying from them, I wouldn't want to support a company like that. Very well-written post!

Lindsey said...

I was curious and looked up the status of the patent application. Looks like The Honest Company withdrew their opposition!

Jennie Daniels said...

And Melaleuca has been around for over 20 years. My parents used to buy that stuff.

Jennie Daniels said...

swo you won't drink a coke product because of how a totally separate company is picking on Honest Toddler?

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