It’s been a long and crazy ride. First, I want to thank all of you for your support. It has meant more to me than you’ll ever know. I checked this morning and the petition to stop the opposition to my Honest Toddler trademark has almost 10,000 signatures. Amazing.
Since this all began I’ve shared my story with Good Morning America, Canada AM, CNBC, and a number of newspapers and blogs. I’ve received emails from scores of people who have been through the same thing: small business owners up against corporations headed by fancy legal firms. You’ve urged me to keep going and I will, for as long as it takes. I appreciate the offer some of you have made to set up a legal fund, but we’ve talked it over as a family and want to do this ourselves. Knowing you’re in our corner in spirit is enough.
You may remember that from the beginning, The Honest Company has claimed to have offered me a “forever and free” licensing agreement. By now we all know this isn’t true. The licensing agreement was for 365 after which I’d have to cease and desist. They recently admitted to CNBC and their Facebook fans that the second one was for 50 years.
50 years may seem like a long time but why oh why would I want Jessica Alba’s children and grandchildren to inherit the fruits of my work rather than mine?
Aside from that, me licensing the use of my own name, Honest Toddler, is ridiculous. It puts me in the position of answering to The Honest Company. They can revoke that license for a myriad of reasons at any time. Would Domino’s Pizza tell Domino Sugar to license their name from them? Dove Chocolate to Dove Soap? Have they asked something similar of HonestKids juice? No. So why does The Honest Company feel as if they need to own me and my work?
In an interview with a blogger, Chris Gavigan, their CEO, said that they had tried to come to a coexisting agreement with me. That’s when two companies decide to…coexist without overlapping where products are concerned.
Of course they’d want me to succeed with a licensing agreement. They’d essentially own Honest Toddler and I’d be renting it.
This coexistence agreement mentioned above never came so I had my lawyer draft one and a few moments ago, I sent it to The Honest Company. I’ve agreed to not create products, not just eco-friendly products that could compete with theirs, but any products. This is a huge sacrifice as many bloggers make promotional items to sell, but my focus has always been on writing first which is why I tweeted and blogged anonymously for so long.
We’ve reached a moment of truth. If The Honest Company really just wants to protect their natural diaper and soap company they should have no problem with a true coexistence agreement and removing their opposition to my Honest Toddler trademark.
The US Trademark and Patent Office did not find my trademark to be in violation with any other marks. That’s why they gave it pre-approval and published it. Right now, The Honest Company is the only roadblock in me owning the name I’ve been writing under.
How a humor blogger can be a threat to a natural products company with celebrity endorsements is beyond me but I’ve done everything to remove all doubt that I will one day begin crafting diapers and lotions in my home.
I often wonder how this even got this far. Why couldn’t we just have started with a coexistence agreement? On The Honest Company website they say:
“We created The Honest Company to fulfill our big dreams, hoping we would make the right choices – following our hearts and consciences, with each detail and every decision – that would result in positive impacts…because at our core we simply want to always try to be better.”
Well, Honest Company, here’s a chance for you to be better. Better than your lawyers are perhaps telling you to be. You sound like you want to do good things in the world, so do them.
The ball is in your court.