Jaden Smith, co-founder of boxed water startup Just Good Inc., has launched a legal war with another startup selling mayonnaise.
According to Bloomberg, Smith’s company which sells water in recyclable cartons has filed suit against Hampton Creek, claiming the latter company violated a trademark agreement established in 2014. Hampton Creek markets itself as a science-driven tech startup, though it really just sells vegan mayo and other products like cookie dough (reports indicate it does very little scientific research of its own and engaged in a sketchy buyback program to pump up mayo demand).
Smith’s water cartons are labeled “JUST WATER.” Hampton Creek’s products are labeled “just. mayo,” “just. mustard,” etc., so you see where this is going.
In May, Hampton Creek modified its website and packaging, changing its web domain to eatjust.com and switching its “just” branding to use a smaller, non-cursive font. Smith’s company claims that Hampton Creek’s pivot from cursive has caused customers to confuse the two brands, which previously were easier to differentiate—and in doing so, associated the mayo company’s baggage with both companies.
The high-profile lawsuit with Smith is merely the latest thing to go super wrong for Hampton Goods. Last month, retail giant Target removed all of its products from the store’s shelves amid allegations its products were contaminated with pathogens including salmonella and listeria, and mislabeled to inaccurately leave out genetically modified ingredients or those that were not strictly vegan, like honey.
Smith, beyond being a rapper, actor and superstar Will Smith’s son, is best known for having ascended to another level of reality and his sick Batman suit. Unlike Hampton Creek’s attempts to corner our nation’s critical vegan mayo reserves, he has mostly received adulatory coverage for his move into the recyclable water sector.