There is a lot of misinformation floating around regarding this unfortunate saga. Sticking purely to the facts, I’d like to post the below.
This all began when I was about eight months pregnant and since then I have gained a beautiful child but lost two years worth of savings fighting this.
I’m sharing my side publicly because The Honest Company has publicly insinuated that I am lying. Read for yourself.
Mom blogger Bunmi Laditan, founder of the blog The Honest Toddler, has released the following Statement of Facts to clarify any questions surrounding the recent trademark dispute with Honest Company. First and foremost, the U.S. Patent Trademark Office granted preliminary approval and published The Honest Toddler’s trademark before The Honest Company attempted to block it.
Second, there is no evidence that consumers are likely to confuse the brands. Many companies operate successfully with similar names. For example, have you ever bought Ritz crackers expecting to be making a hotel reservation at Ritz hotels? Of course not. Consumers can differentiate between different companies that both use the word “honest.”
Mom of 3 kids, Bunmi is a well-meaning, honest and hilarious writer who uses her social media pages to provide humor to parents. Her posts quickly grew into a significant online following that resulted in a book deal and optioned TV series by Hollywood producer Darren Star (producer of Sex & The City).
The Honest Company has even praised Bunmi’s blog and publicized it to their audience. Mom blogger Honest Toddler has no desire to harm The Honest Company in any way and has never tried to interfere with their business. “I am saddened that The Honest Company has resorted to these threatening legal tactics against a mom blogger. Many companies use the term ‘honest’ and consumers are not confused. I am even more shocked that The Honest Company has resorted to misinforming its customers and betraying the public in an attempt to save face. We are all moms trying to face parenthood honestly, just in different ways.” says Bunmi Laditan.
There has been a lot of misinformation circulated online. Here are the honest facts about what has happened.
March 2012: The domain name honesttoddler.com is purchased by The Honest Company but is NOT used as a live website until July 2013.
May 1, 2012: Mom blogger Bunmi Laditan launches Honest Toddler twitter account on Twitter (Bunmi had no knowledge of The Honest Company’s ownership of honesttoddler.com)
Purchasing a domain name costs about $15. It does not give you exclusive rights to a name. If it did, there are many others who could claim exclusive use of Honest concepts. HonestKids.com was purchased in 2006. Before the Honest Company existed.
HonestKids is also a popular line of juice. They do not own HonestKids.com. Somehow, they co-exist.
The mom behind HonestFamily.blogspot.ca has been blogging since 2010. The Honest Company purchased HonesetFamily.com in 2012. No one is claiming confusion to the marketplace on this one. Why?
In March 2013, Honest Company founder Jessica Alba published, The Honest Life. HonestLiving.org was established in 2010.
The mom behind HonestMom.com blogs about motherhood, raising daughters, humor and depression. In March of 2013, she was interviewed on television by Katie Couric.
THEHonestMom.com also exists. From her website, it seems as if she has been blogging since 2011. Somehow, thehonestmom.com and honestmom.com coexist.
September 5, 2012: The Honest Company interviews Mom blogger Honest Toddler, praises the hilarious blog, The Honest Toddler, and publishes the Honest Toddler interview on its blog (which is a bizarre thing to do if The Honest Company is so worried about consumers being confused by Honest Toddler!)
September, 2012: Book publisher Simon & Schuster offers Bunmi Laditan a book deal based on The Honest Toddler blog and Twitter feed.
September 27, 2012: Mom blogger Bunmi Laditan files the Honest Toddler trademark application with U.S. Patent Trademark Office
April 2, 2013: U.S. Patent Trademark Office finds that Honest Toddler’s trademark is not confusing with any current marks, grants preliminary approval, and publishes the mark.
April 20, 2013: The Honest Company contacts Mom blogger Honest Toddler and offers to license her the use of the trademark for 365 days ONLY if she withdraws the trademark application. After 365 days, Laditan would be required to stop using the name Honest Toddler in all forms, including on her blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, television series, and future books.
May 20, 2013: The Honest Company threatens to block the Honest Toddler trademark unless blogger mom Bunmi Laditan agrees to the license agreement that would limit her use of the mark to 1 year.
May 21, 2013: The Honest Company enters official Notice of Opposition against the application filed by blogger Bunmi Laditan for the mark “Honest Toddler”.
June, 2013: Darren Star (producer of Sex & The City) options the rights to Honest Toddler for a potential TV show.
July 23, 2013: The Honest Company’s attorneys send a letter to Hollywood producer Darren Star and mis-informs Mr. Star that his intended use of the “Honest Toddler” constitutes trademark infringement (which is a legally and factually false statement).
July 28, 2013: The website honesttoddler.com is launched by Honest Company with a tirade about mom blogger Bunmi Laditan’s refusal to withdraw her rightfully filed trademark application.
Myth: The Honest Company is protecting its business names.
FACT: The Honest Toddler was the first to use the mark in commerce and had no desire to prevent the Honest Company from using the word “honest” to promote its line of eco-friendly baby products. Many companies operate successfully with similar names. Consumers are not confused by Dove Soap and Dove Chocolates.
Myth: The Honest Company offered a license to Honest Toddler to use the trademark “Honest Toddler” forever and for free
FACT: The Honest Company offered a license for the Honest Toddler to use the trademark only for 365 days. This would prevent Honest Toddler from using this mark beyond 365 days from the date the license agreement was signed.
Myth: The Honest Toddler trademark is in a class that would be confusing with the marks owned by Honest Company
FACT: The Honest Toddler’s mark is in a trademark class specifically for media and entertainment, which is fitting for a mom blogger. All but one of Honest Company’s trademarks are in different trademark classes. Their only mark in the same class as The Honest Toddler is HonestBaby, which they purchased from a mom blogger in 2012, but do not use in commerce. If searched, the link simply re-directs consumers to The Honest Company’s main page.
Myth: Consumers are confused by the similarities between The Honest Company and The Honest Toddler.
FACT: The Honest Company sells eco-friendly baby products. The Honest Toddler writes a hilarious blog about parenting. There is no evidence of consumer confusion. The public can easily differentiate between Ritz crackers and Ritz hotels and can also differentiate between The Honest Company and The Honest Toddler. The Honest Company was so impressed by The Honest Toddler, that they interviewed The Honest Toddler, praised her success, and posted the interview on their blog! The only thing that is confusing is why The Honest Company intentionally praised and publicized an alleged competitor that would lead to confusion.