DID WILLA (GIRL) WHUP P&G OVER AN IMAGINARY CONFLICT WITH THE WELLA TRADEMARK? THE TRADEMARK TROLL IS NOT SURE.
You haven’t been riveted by the world altering events now labeled as The Arab Spring? You do not have a clue about what’s going on with the European debt crisis?
Then you MUST know about the dispute between an 11-year-old girl named Willa and America’s largest consumer goods company Procter & Gamble. Willa’s mom, a wealthy, smart and savvy woman, worked for several years to create a line of skin care products, lip balms and hair care products for tween girls. She named this line of products WILLA.
This upset someone at P&G. Because P&G sells WELLA branded shampoo. P&G made their usual assumption that every (real or imagined) competitor wanted to trade on their goodwill. So they challenged Willa and her mom. Expecting them to do the sensible thing, and give up their name.
But Willa and her mom did not give up Willa’s name. They took the offensive against P&G and decisively won the public relations battle.
Now the case has settled. The settlement has been noted in the New York Times. At a glance Willa seems to have won. Willa can use her name on skin care products and a lip balm.
But when Willa filed one of her federal trademark applications she expressed her intention to use the term WILLA on a hair conditioner and a shampoo. Does Willa still have the right to use her name on these products? Were these products really important to Willa’s marketing plans?
I don’t know. So we can all watch with interest to see what Willa really does with her name
Unless we get distracted by a worldwide financial meltdown.