17 September 2010

IHOP Sues IHOP

I wanted to write a witty introduction to this article, but it's already been addressed by several other blogs and by Wretched Radio, so all the obvious jokes have already been used. I'll just post some of the article here.

The Kansas City Star reports:
IHOP (the pancake-maker) sues IHOP (the prayer center) over trademark
A sign at the entrance to the prayer room at the International House of Prayer helps keep a prayerful atmosphere. Now, the IHOP restaurant chain is suing the Kansas City-based religious group, alleging trademark dilution and infringement.
File photo by FRED BLOCHER
A sign at the entrance to the prayer room at the International House of Prayer helps keep a prayerful atmosphere. Now, the IHOP restaurant chain is suing the Kansas City-based religious group, alleging trademark dilution and infringement.

Pancakes and prayers — have we reached a point where even those two can’t get along?
Frankly, yes. So praise the Lord and pass the syrup, the International House of Pancakes and International House of Prayer are fixing to throw down.
IHOP (pancake), based in Glendale, Calif., has sued IHOP (prayer), based in Kansas City, for trademark dilution and infringement. The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, essentially said there was room for only one IHOP and that would be the restaurant chain that has been using the initials since 1973.
The religious group drawing thousands from around the world to south Kansas City to prepare for “end times” was started just 10 years ago.
Other than an acronym, the two have nearly zilch in common.
The IHOP (prayer) on Red Bridge Road operates 24/7/365, sending a never-ending digital signal of prayers to Jerusalem, where it streams live on God TV for broadcast all over the world.
The other largely operates 24/7/365, too, but it is known for its pancakes, including a signature breakfast specialty called “Rooty Tooty Fresh ’N Fruity.”
But the chain, which has 1,476 restaurants across the country, claims it has six registered trademarks with the IHOP acronym and that the religious group’s use of the same four-letter logo causes, according to the lawsuit, “great and irreparable injury and confuses the public.”
The lawsuit further accuses the church mission of adopting the name International House of Prayer knowing it would be abbreviated IHOP — the intent being to misappropriate fame and notoriety of the food chain.
On Tuesday, IHOP (pancake) spokesman Patrick Lenow said the suit was filed only after the church mission refused repeated requests to stop using the trademark.
“We are compelled to protect the 350 small-business owners who own IHOP franchises and the IHOP good name that’s been around for 52 years,” Lenow said.
Thus the question, why sue now? The church mission started calling itself IHOP a decade ago.
“They’ve expanded — and now some of the branches are serving food,” Lenow said.
Read the entire article here.

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