Power of One vs. Power of “Hon”

Writer (Bruce Goldfarb) to test Whiting’s legal right to trademark word

“Good for him,” says President (Benn Ray) of Hampden merchants’ association

By Jill Rosen (The Baltimore Messenger, 1/4/11)

He’s calling it the first shot fired in The Battle of the Hons.

An area writer has thrown down the gauntlet — challenging the legitimacy of the little three-letter trademark that has had Baltimore up-in-arms through the holiday season.

Bruce Goldfarb, a Catonsville writer who runs the website Welcome to Baltimore, Hon, plans to start selling coffee mugs emblazoned with the word “Hon.”

He’s doing it with hopes of proving that Denise Whiting, the owner of Cafe Hon and the founder of Honfest, has no legal claim on the word.

“The goal is to establish that Hon is in the public domain and to provoke her into a fight to defend her claim,” Goldfarb said Tuesday after posting his intentions on his website. “It’s not a legitimate mark. Period.”

Whiting, who trademarked the word years ago, told The Sun Tuesday, “I have absolutely no comment.”

The president of the Hampden Village Merchants Association was quick to praise Goldfarb.

“Good for him,” said president Benn Ray, owner of Atomic Books and a critic of Whiting’s trademarking of the word. “If somebody wants to stake their name to this word, which is what Denise did, they need to be prepared to take challenges from people who are also using that word.”

Continue reading “Power of One vs. Power of ‘Hon'” at the Baltimore Messenger.

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