Soon after Jessica Alba gave birth, she made the transition from Hollywood to founder of her own company, The Honest Company, a brand built on eco-friendly products for children and families.
But now the “Honest” brand is at the center of lawsuits over its use.
Alba’s company is suing a mommy blogger Bunmi Laditan for use of the name “The Honest Toddler.”
‘The Honest’ trademark wars
These days the 32-year-old actress spends much of her time making TV appearances and attending book signings to promote her brand, but she’s run into some competition in the form of a popular mommy blogger whose own success is quickly rising.
According to the Huffington Post, Laditan, a mother of three, is behind the cheeky Twitter feed and blog The Honest Toddler. Her musings have gained such popularity that she has amassed 151,000 fans on Facebook and over 255,000 followers on Twitter. Laditan’s “laugh-out-loud parenting guide” book, “The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting,” was released in May by Simon and Schuster’s Scribner and aside from being was well received among critics and readers, it landed on Amazon’s best sellers.
Laditan gives parenting advice from the perspective of a toddler on her blog, thehonesttoddler.com. The comical writer even has a television series in works with executive producer Darren Star of “Sex in the City,” which was based on Candace Bushnell’s newspaper columns.
Laditan will work with producers Clark Peterson and Dennis Erdman on the show, which is described as “a “Modern Family” from a toddler’s point of view,” reports Deadline.com.
The power struggle over the use of the name The Honest Toddler began when Jessica Alba’s company became aware of the popular Twitter blog and called Laditan. After they failed to reach an agreement, The Honest Company published correspondence between Laditan and the company over the use of the name on their website, giving their side of the story.
According to them, Laditan had agreed to give up her trademark application for The Honest Toddler or allow The Honest Company’s opposition for the same trademark go unopposed.
The Honest Company stated:
“The Honest Toddler could continue its online presence. The Honest Toddler agreed that it would be willing to enter into such an agreement. It seemed like everything would work out for the best, until The Honest Toddler stopped returning calls and emails.”
In much of the same humor as the blog, The Honest Toddler posted its response to The Honest Company’s statement in the form of a 2-second video that simply said “”RIDIKILIS!”
Laditan did elaborate on her Facebook page, setting the record straight with this statement:
“Long story short, I was led to believe that it was all a misunderstanding when I was asked to withdraw my “honest toddler” trademark which is why in good faith I held the giveaway but then received a notice that The Honest Company had opposed my trademark.
FACT: I am more than willing to agreement to not make products like The Honest Company but I AM NOT willing to cancel my trademark so they can license it back to me “for free.” That puts me in a very bad situation if they were to ever decide to revoke the license.
I find all of this absolutely ridiculous.”
The bitter battle for ‘The Honest’ brand
This isn’t the first battle for the use of “Honest” Jessica Alba has run into since her company’s launch in January 2012. Shortly after The Honest Company’s launch, she received a letter from another mommy blogger who had built a success business off her parenting advice blog Honest Baby, which launched four years before Alba’s company.
Honest Baby registered and was granted a trademark for their name. The two company’s reached an amicable agreement.
Laditan, who doesn’t sell eco-friendly products, is branding herself as humorous parenting writer. She launched her The Honest Toddler’s Twitter feed “anonymously in May 2012 after a particularly difficult week with her then 2-year old daughter as means of cathartic release through humor,” reports deadline.com.
Christopher Gavigan, a co-founder of The Honest Company, told the Huffington Post that the issue over the use of The honest Toddler is not a lawsuit yet.
“It’s not a battle, it’s not a court case, no one is suing anyone. … We have superior rights in a class that she is filing in,” Gavigan said.
Do you think Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company is being the bully? Tell us in the comments.