Jessica Alba’s Honest Company is back in the news. This time, instead of being sued by angry customers, the company has decided to file a lawsuit of its own. Against who, though? Well, it turns out there is another company out there offering natural products, particularly hemp products, and the Honest Company claims it is “trying to bogart Alba’s trademark.” The company in question is Honest Herbal, and the lawsuit against it was filed in federal court in California late last month.
According to the lawsuit, Honest Company claims that Honest Herbal wants to “confuse consumers and profit from the goodwill and consumer recognition associated with The Honest Co.’s HONEST Marks.” For example, the Honest Company has a popular line of face and body lotion made with natural, good for you ingredients. Honest Herbal also has a line of natural, good for you “creams, lotions, and supplements.” The Honest Company is worried that with so many similarities, consumers will become confused between the two brands.
But what exactly is Honest Herbal? Many people are familiar with the Honest Company, which has made a name for itself as a “leading lifestyle brand that has enjoyed, and continues to enjoy, a tremendous amount of success,” but few may be familiar with Honest Herbal. Well, for starters, Honest Herbal produces “full spectrum cannabinoid-rich hemp products that are available nationwide,” according to its website.
Before filing the lawsuit, Alba’s company claims it “made a good faith effort to resolve this matter without having to resort to litigation, but Honest Herbal’s failure to cease and desist demonstrates a deliberate intent on Defendant’s part to continue to willfully infringe.” However, the other side of the aisle has a different version of the story. According to Aaron Bradford, a lawyer for Honest Herbal, contrary to the lawsuit’s claims, “Honest Herbal did respond to Honest Company’s inquiry, and the two sides were scheduled to speak this week, but the lawsuit was filed anyway.” He also added that “Honest Herbal’s hemp line consists of pain-relief products, which the Honest Company does not deal in,” and said: “We intend to defend against The Honest Company’s lawsuit.”
At the moment the lawsuit is “alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition, and other counts,” and seeks unspecified damages, perhaps to help pay for a few settlements of its own. For those who don’t know, the Honest Company tangoed with a few lawsuits earlier this year and ended up agreeing to a few settlements. For example, the company settled a lawsuit in New York that claimed it “fraudulently labeled dozens of home and personal care products as natural, plant-based or chemical-free.” That particular lawsuit was filed by Brad Buonasera. In his lawsuit, he accused Honest of “misleadingly marketing at least 41 items including bubble bath, children’s toothpaste, floor cleaners, laundry detergent, and soap.” According to the lawsuit, Buonasera asserted that many Honest Company products “were labeled natural, all natural, naturally derived, plant-based and no harsh chemicals, but actually contained a spectacular array of synthetic and toxic ingredients.”
Additionally, Alba’s company was sued by a customer back in 2015 who claimed “its sunscreen doesn’t work and isn’t really natural,” and in 2016 the “Organic Consumers Association filed a suit claiming that Honest baby formula contains ingredients that aren’t really organic.”
Jessica Alba’s Honest Company Goes After Hemp Line in Trademark Lawsuit