Jessica Alba's ethical household products business, The Honest Company, has failed to prevent the registration of the mark "Honestly Hope" by the cosmetics brand of the same name. Honestly Hope applied to register the mark for cosmetics and medical oils.
The Honest Company sells a range of household goods including cosmetics and shaving products, all of which are marketed as sustainably and ethically produced. The company owns the EU trademark 'Honest' for its products, and an international registration for the same mark that also designates the EU. They sought to argue that as the applied-for mark subsumes the entirety of its mark, confusion was inevitable.
The UKIPO has held that the additional word "Hope" is an important point of distinction, that the aural and visual similarity of the marks is "medium at most", and that there is therefore no infringement. Although it found that both marks "share the concept of honesty" that there is a "perceptible difference" in the focus of the message of the respective marks.
The IPO also drew the distinction between "honest" and "honestly" and explained that as The Honest Company had failed to supply any evidence of use, they could not consider any argument of 'enhanced level of distinctiveness'.
It seems that although Alba's company sought to oppose the registration, it did not take sufficiently seriously the need to adhere to the UKIPO's protocols and supply the evidence required.
The mark will shortly be registered.
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