Monday, July 29, 2013

Celebrity's company and mommy blogger "fight" over use of word "Honest" in trademark or wordmark; USPTO actually agrees with larger company

ABC News reported, Monday on Good Morning America, about a legal feud (not yet a lawsuit) started by Jessica Alba’s “The Honest Company”, successfully fighting (though the US Trademark Office) a trademark application by author and “twitter feed” mommy bogger Bunmi Laditan, for the mark “Honest Toddler”. 

The USPTO said that the use of the common word “honest” by Bunmi could confuse consumers, but Bunmi says she doesn’t plan to sell any other products (except her book: “Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting”, as here on Amazon (link).   The URL for Bunmi’s feed is (website url) here.

The ABC News story is here.

I think the case is important, and that established companies or celebrities shouldn’t be able to monopolize common words in the English language. 

The other famous mommy blogger is, of course, Heather Armstrong ("dooce").  


Anonymous said...

The USPTO has ruled on this yet. The USPTO actually gave the author of Honest Toddler preliminary approval for the trademark after reviewing current trademarks. The dispute only came up during the public period before final approval.

Additionally, the trademarks are not in the same class. These are important details you should add if you're going to blog on trademark.

Bill Boushka said...

So, it is possible for USPTO to turn it down, still, after public comment, after all.

When similar marks are used in different classes (for different products or services), it would be less likely that the second user of a similar wordmark could create confusion.