Honest Company: Timeline of Events

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

HonestKids is also a popular line of juice. They do not own HonestKids.com. Somehow, they co-exist.

honestkidsjuice

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?

honestfamilyco

honestfamilyblog

In March 2013, Honest Company founder Jessica Alba published, The Honest Life. HonestLiving.org was established in 2010.

honestlifebook

Not affiliated with Jessica Alba's Honest Life book.

Not affiliated with Jessica Alba’s Honest Life book.

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.

honestmomimage

thehonestmom1

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!)

LOls

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

If this is true, why can't we just sign a Do Not Compete agreement?

If this is true, why can’t we just sign a Do Not Compete agreement?
Img source: Perezitos/ABC

Video Source: http://perezhilton.com/perezitos/2013-07-29-jessica-alba-suing-mom-over-twitter-account-name-similar-to-the-honest-company#.UffIl1P48v1

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.

thehonestinfantimage

Advertisements

140 thoughts on “Honest Company: Timeline of Events

  1. To answer a previous question, no, Honest Company does not own Honest Tea. Honest Tea was founded by someone named Seth Goldman, and they’re owned by Coca Cola.

  2. Wow! I stumbled on this blog after seeing your book online. I wish I could say I’m shocked at the brazen opportunism of the so-called “Honest Company” but I’m afraid the internet is crawling with opportunists and snake-oil salesmen who are after a quick buck and there is no shortage of lawyers who are willing to do their bidding, like attack dogs. Good luck to you, Bunmi. I sincerely hope you win this battle, for all of us little guys.

  3. FYI, Honest Co. uses HonestBaby as the name of their baby life event tracking app. It has been in the iTunes store for at least half a year now…. i think.

  4. No wonder my Dove chocolate tasted so bad. It’s been soap all these years. So glad you cleared that up!

    Glad to read the facts here because I was going to try to diaper my baby with the Honest Toddler book.

    It’s really easy to get those brand names confused.

  5. I just hope they have to compensate you after they lose. And they will lose, whether it’s in court, loss of sales, or both.

  6. This sucks. My theory is with the book and potential tv / Darren Starr situation they saw $$$ and are trying to take you down. Clearly they don’t know better.

  7. I think you should at least get your money back, “honest” is a freaking adjective, and frankly no one that actually has kids would waste money on snotty overpriced crap like that unless they are trying to feel like they are wealthy movie stars, buy all the “organic” diapers you want, you still have cellulite and are not being followed by papparazzi! Kudos for standing up for yourself, i’m disappointed in Alba, it’s so capricious it makes my ass twitch. Can I say ass?

  8. Are they going to sue Honest Tea (or Coca Cola) in case someone gets confused between baby lotions and beverages? Keep up the good work, Bunmi/HT! Love what you’re doing.

  9. Pingback: Funny, Serious, and Curious Inbetween: 12 Last Read Roundup | interesting12

  10. Don’t forget to add March 16, 2013 to your timeline – they published the HonestBaby app in the iTunes store. And then quickly decided they also needed an Honest Toddler TM? Hmm…

  11. Hi Bunmi,

    Although I have no kids, I’m an Honest Toddler fan. Thanks for posting a timeline of events regarding the palaver between you & Honest co.

    Consider displaying the following statements you made in bold to stand out more for those that may not go through the entire post. Also suggesting this because these are some of the points most frequently misunderstood by viewers on both sides:
    • 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.
    • Have you ever bought Ritz crackers expecting to be making a hotel reservation at Ritz hotels
    • Honest Company has even praised Bunmi’s blog and publicized it to their audience.

    Cheers

  12. I wish I was a customer of Honest Company so I could NEVER buy anything from them ever again.

  13. You know when you read a word so many times it ceases to have any meaning? “Honest” doesn’t even look like a word anymore!

  14. Pingback: Is The Eco-Friendly Honest Company Pushing Honest Toddler Around?

  15. Honest toddler is the best thing to come since I have become a mom. I love it! And I am disgusted Jessica Alba doesn’t have better sense. Everyone just boycott her! 🙂

  16. Pingback: When Honesty Kills A Brand .:.digitalrelevance

  17. I cancelled my Honest Company subscription. I hope they read these comments. This is not the kind of company I choose to support.

  18. After reading through the “opposition” filing, I’m guessing that the particular lawyer (from the firm that Alba is using) that is driving this whole thing is the one named “Fink”.

    Call it a hunch. =P

  19. I just imagine that Honest Tod. had plans for Honest Toddler since it matches their brand well and that’s why it’s more than just a name issue. It is VERY common for businesses to product themselves and that’s simply what Honest Co. is doing. They’re getting more attention and criticism because a celebrity is attached to the company.

    You’ll probably get a lot of attention from this so soak it up and perhaps tweak your name to save a few bucks

  20. Ok so it seems to me that the Honest Company, which I’ve never heard of until now, has deliberately used the popularity of Honest Toddler to get more publicity. You know what they say: bad press is better than no press. They are getting their name out there at your expense, so shady. Kind of ironic considering their name. I love the real HT and look forward to what hilarities happen each day. Signed the petition…fight the fight, you have my support!

  21. All right, everybody got some publicity out of this. Go back to your corners and everybody just keep on keeping on and forget all of this happened.

  22. Pingback: Jessica Alba's Honest Company is Trying to Bully Honest Toddler | Awesomely Luvvie

  23. Pingback: Why I Boycott The Honest Company: Support For The Honest Toddler | Do Not Faint

  24. Pingback: Throwing Tantrums | Domain Name Strategy

  25. Is there a status update with all of this?! I’m so furious right now about the deception of that company! Friggin’ ridiculous. Never buying from them again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s