Moment of Truth

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.

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

http://www.peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com/2013/08/honestly-honest-company-is-getting-on.html

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.

coexist

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.

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102 thoughts on “Moment of Truth

  1. My toddler is around the same age as yours, and your HT tweets have made me realize that we’re all in the same boat and the things I struggle with are not unique. And they give me a good laugh too! I would also boycott Jessica Alba’s products if they were available here. Good for you for taking them on!

  2. How does The Honest TODDLER in any way impact The Honest COMPANY???? General Electric is not the same as General Mills, even though they both have “General” in their names. Two different products! The Honest Company is being so ridiculous…and their behavior is reason enough for me to boycott all of their products and encourage my friends to do so as well..

  3. I would love to buy t-shirts, onesies and tote bags with quotes from HT – don’t hand over that option and opportunity to create them!! You were here first.. Too bad for Jessica Alba and The Honest Company. Continue to build what you have, in your own rite, created.

  4. I’d looked into The Honest Company’s products and they seem great, but there are plenty of other natural options out there. I won’t buy from a bully, no matter how pretty the packaging. Keep up the funnies, HT!

  5. The only negative impact that Honest Toddler has had AT ALL on The Honest Company is not done at your hand, but at theirs. They have brought negative publicity upon themselves by bullying you and going against what they pledge to do, “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.” They are NOT making the right choice to bully a smaller company/blog author. They are NOT creating a positive impact, and they are NOT being better or making the world a better place by their actions. I know I for one will NEVER buy ANYTHING from them, and I will discourage everyone I know from purchasing from The Honest Company because of their practices.

  6. You should not allow a bully to break your arm to get them off your back. There are lots folks in the legal and corporate world who could help you…. and lots of parents who LOVE you and would help boycott. I think Paul is onto something… maybe we should ask Coca-Cola to help sponsor a line of Honest Toddler clothes. 🙂

  7. Knowing something about trademarks myself, I think you’ve given them more than your fair share of rights considering the USPTO didn’t find any issues with your trademarks and the wares for which you’ve registered (I haven’t looked up their opposition documents, not sure if it’s even available on the USPTO website). Anyway, I wish you the best of luck!

  8. I am sure David was a little overwhelmed when he went up against Goliath and we all know how that turned out. 🙂
    Stand strong and don’t let them bully you. I hope they are ashamed of themselves for being so naughty!!!

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  10. Here’s something funny – I never once thought that Honest Toddler and The Honest Company were related in any way. One was hilariously funny writing about toddlers, the other was a company that sold some sort of natural products that I was only slightly aware of (since I have a teenage now, I don’t buy any baby products). I tried their Honest Tea once and didn’t really like it. Oh…..wait, Honest Tea is a DIFFERENT company?

    Seriously, I just found that out. All this time, while reading about your struggles with The Honest Company, I was thinking about the Honest Tea company. Now THAT is confusing.
    http://www.honesttea.com/
    https://www.honest.com/

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  12. You are awesome… But if you are not going to make any products…. should just go ahead and make my own Honest Toddler T-Shirt and send you $20? And some unbroken crackers, of course :>

  13. You are smart, funny and wise and if this does not work out you will build a better and more lucrative blog. I enjoy your work and love reading it and will hope for the best!

  14. I don’t understand why you’re even engaged in making concessions to The Honest Company. Your companies, as you even pointed out, share a word. Big deal. You were awarded a trademark. The Honest Company can’t prevent you from doing anything. I’m so confused as to why they have control over your business, exactly. This doesn’t even make sense; what am I missing?

  15. I live in Australia so no Honest Company products for me – I will still make my feelings known with my wallet though, I will never purchase a movie ticket or DVD to a Jessica Alba film or purchase a magazine where she features.

    I know some people may still want natural products so thought it would be great if someone could start posting links to alternate suppliers and see how they like it.

  16. I will never spend a dime on any company owned by Jessica Alba or any movie she “acts” in. The last thing this world needs is an pseudo celebrity hawking stuff they think is good for us, or telling us how to save the planet, when it most assuredly means “fill my wallet with cash”. They open their mouths….I do not listen. Keep up the fight Honest Toddler. You are a bright spot in so many lives. Jessica Alba has never made me smile…you do many times a day. Do not let them bully you.

  17. Quite frankly I find it insulting that The (not so) Honest Company things moms are too stupid to tell the difference between humor and overpriced baby products.

  18. Standing fiercely by your side in all this. Sending lots of love to you and your HTs; whenever I feel down I go back and reread HT and it changes my brain chemistry back to happy! True story! Which, in turn, helps me be a better mama. I’m very grateful to have you and HT in my life. Fight the good fight; you have a LOT of support! ❤

  19. I agree, I would buy a Tshirt of tote bag. I love your writing, love that you’re not giving up without a fight and I will NEVER buy anything from the “Honest” Company.

  20. General Mills, General Electric, General Dynamics, Little General Fireworks (well, maybe GD should send those guys a letter)…

    Sell me a coffee mug and a tee shirt if you want help with the legal expenses from these losers.

  21. I think the “Honest” Company is hurting themselves more with this than they realize. It is especially aggravating to me, given their name. What exactly are they being “honest” about? This is just bad business. In addition to it trying to take advantage of someone else’s hard work, they are causing backlash from potential customers. Good business would have been to pay honest toddler to be a sponsor, but that ship has sailed. Problem with companies like theirs, is that their mission statements are not enforced by all areas of the company. It looks good on paper, but if the people running the company don’t believe it then stuff like this happens. Again it might not aggravate me as much if they didn’t have “Honest” in their name. Looks good on paper, but if you don’t practice what you preach in all areas of your business, you are not headed for success.

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  23. Did you know, that Co Founder Christopher Gavigan send direct messages to Greys Anatomy fans which made a mistake and posted his personal home address? That address was already deleted, but he still had to DM that girl (twitter name: @flavstweets, it happened 12 hours ago), which was really scared. I totally understand CGav, but so protective about his family and so unfair to HonestToddler!

  24. I agree with all of your other supporters who believe you’re giving away too much by promising to never market an Honest Toddler product. At this time, you’re bending over backward to accommodate a corporate bully, but there are many items you could create that would not compete with The Honest Company’s products. Please do not limit your future opportunities in your attempt to eliminate your current problem.

  25. You have an amazing blog…just came across it. I can so relate to your post on Transition. Incredible!! It is something that really shows how much strength and endurance we really have. It also reminds us of what things really most in life 😉

    I just wanted to mention that while I don’t know your specifics…it does sound a lot like another colleague’s situation who had a successful organic cosmetic business and used a name that a very, very large company (they are always going to be the bullies!!) then used after her for one of their lines. She tried to keep her business name, but in the end all the legal costs and all the back and forth negotiations caused her so much stress and health problems that she relinquished the business name and used her own name as her business name. No one can take that away from you!! She was bitter from the whole experience, but letting go and taking control over the situation with a new focus, allowed her a fresh start away from all of the drama.

    I mention this only to suggest that maybe there is another course of action that could be considered that would dissociate you from the other company.

    I wish you all the very best in this matter no matter how you choose to go forth. Keep writing your beautiful writing.

    Warmly,
    Meling

  26. This entire article just sounds like jibberish and half-truths from you. I doubt Honest Co. has any of the ill intentions that you are assuming they have. They are a seriously amazing company that is only trying to make a better world for all of us moms. I don’t understand why you would think anything they are doing is to hurt you, but only to protect themselves. I believe them when they say they want you to be successful forever and I don’t believe they would ever, no matter what happened, try to make money off of your work. I’m sure they don’t need your help. They seem to be doing more than fine already.

    I just don’t understand any of what you’re saying. They are not being a bully. They are just doing the things that the law dictates they do and they seem truly interested in fixing this issue. Why do you keep posting these worthless articles that try to blast them? It doesn’t seem very helpful at all.

  27. I think I’m with the others who are somewhat disappointed that you’re giving up an opportunity to sell products like diaper bags, etc. On the other hand, that honestly (ha!) represents a genuine compromise on your end. If the so-called Honest Company doesn’t come back their own, their bluff is called, their goose is cooked, and your many fans and advocates will hit social media even harder. Don’t give up. You are that rare thing on the Internet – genuinely brilliant, laugh until I cry funny, and (rarest of all) a classy, wise lady.

  28. My grandchildren are 3 1/2 years old and 3 months old, so we’ve been living the toddler-life for a couple of years and have several more to look forward to. Your Honest Toddler tweets give me my belly laughs for the day. Honest, indeed! My daughter (another fan of yours) has bought Honest Co. products in the past, but we agree that this trademark kerfuffle is just silly, especially since you’re both playing to the same crowd. We’re holding off on more Honest Co. products until it stops this crazy vendetta against our fabulous Honest Toddler. Never give in, HT! We love you!

  29. Are you retarted? Dumb toddler. You are nothing your name is nothing and your a fool stupid bitch. Don’t you understand? Your nothing name could make you some one from the Honest name. Honest makes baby products Get it dummy “baby” “toddler” could get mistaken for the honest company if you ever made products. Don’t go trying to match Dove with yourself because your nothing and people who are nothing could try to be some one by tricking customers that your another company. Dumb bitch change your nothing name to the toddler bloger and move on to your pitiful life. Why would you even bother fighting to keep your name when your nothing? Change your blog name and be doneits not like you have anything to lose you fool. Now fuck off stupid bitch.

  30. No worries Matthew. Normally I’m not a spelling nazi, but I think the above rant, along with the inability to get their point across without using four letter words, correct spelling, proper grammar, or punctuation, is indicative of a limited vocabulary and most likely small genitals.

  31. Pegitz love your witty reply. HT hang in there. I think you will win this thing. It’s seems that if it were easy for them to win this would already be over. It’s not, so keep fighting. We are all right beside you. #toddlersunite

  32. Thank you MomofZs & I agree with what you said about it being over if they could win. It’s just going to take time for the powers that be to realize how ludicrous The Honest Company is being.

  33. As a mother of 2, you brighten my day and often make me laugh out loud. Thank you for helping me get through the day.

  34. I loved your article , which is why I followed you to, as I wish to keep track of your blog and see what else you have to offer the blogging world 🙂 please check out my latest blog feature a song by a young man called Kurtis Robinson Every like gives him a greater chance of making it .
    Thankyou in advance and I hope to talk to you more often.
    All the best
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    http://sfoxwriting.com/2013/09/02/daily-song-sinnerman/

  35. I have yet to support the Honest Company but was seriously considering signing up for one of their monthly subscriptions as we’ve got twins on the way and natural diapers delivered to the door seems like a pretty sweet option, until I read this. I’m perplexed at their somewhat thinly veiled attempt to own your writing and experiences as their own, to lend some humor and credibiltiy to their marketing. I’m astonished that your answer of “No, thanks, I’m good” was met with a lawsuit. I can’t, in good faith, support a company who behaves in such a childish manner. Really, really poor business decision on their behalf.

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