Procter & Gamble Going After 8-Year-Old’s Fancy Soap Company


A precocious whippersnapper from the Upper East Side private school Spence told her mother one day during a bath that she was done with “babyish” soap, so her mom made her a new brand. Willa, named after the child, is a skin-care line for tweens, but according to Procter & Gamble, the name sounds too much like Wella, the line of hair products they acquired for $7 billion in 2003. Instead of complying with the cease-and-desist order, the mother and daughter team is suing, and the “trademark bullying” case will go to court in October. Legal fees for the family are estimated around $750,000. “It’s just a lot of stress for my mom,” said little Willa. But think of it this way: Her college admissions essay is all but written.

A Start-Up Takes On Procter & Gamble Over a Name [DealBook/NYT]