Jessica Alba and her husband Cash Warren, and their company The Honesty Company, are in a trademark and branding war with a mom blogger, TheHonsestToddler.com.
The history and details of the dispute are a bit complex, so head over to The Brand Infringement Firm‘s blog to get the background. Attorney Trezanay Atkins uses the case as part of a case study on how to launch and protect a brand from trademark infringement and disputes.
In sum, Alba, a past Bellyitch Bumpwatch mom, launched the company in 2012 to promote health and safety in baby products for parents and families. When they got on the scene, owners of a parenting site and clothing company, The Honest Baby, already in existence with similar name and mission, contacted Alba and worked out a deal.
Alba and co had purchased several domain names including that for HonestToddler.com.
But that would prove to be a not sufficient. Canadian mom blogger, Bunmi Laditan, of the hilariously funny Honest Toddler Twitter account saw things take off since it launched on May 1, 2012. The Twitter account turned into a book and she quickly saw offers to turn the character into a TV show. (Darren Star creator of Sex and the City has purchased the option for it) Laditan filed to protect the name in July 2012 for TheHonestTodder.com at the US trademark office (she lives in Texas as well) and by purchasing the domain as well. Clearly, she added “The” to the website name because she had to have known that HonestToddler.com was already taken.
The Honest Company took notice and approached Laditan for a deal. It seems all was well. Laditan says Alba had even talked to her about being included in the book version of the blog which was just released this past May. Alba’s Honest Company even did a funny blog interview with Laditan’s HonestToddler last September.
Things changed, as Alba’s company explained on its HonestTodder.com page.
It’s all confusing! Is this a case of celebrity bullying mom blogger or empowered mom blogger getting juiced up from lucrative offers and using her blogging community to fight back? Who knows? Who is in the right?
Atkins explains what each party should have done and how others can and should act to avoid getting in a similar conundrum!
When you’re done checking out Atkins’ advice, let us know your thoughts.