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IHOP sues Missouri Church: Pancakes versus Eucharist

Perhaps the Pope could offer mediation by promoting IHOP pancakes for Eucharist.

The world-famous International House of Pancakes – mostly known by the abbreviation “IHOP” – has done the unthinkable: They are suing a church over the use of its initials.

IHOP serves thousands of pancakes from its celebrated lunch menu daily, and their numerous registered trademarks include: IHOP, IHOP Restaurant, Nobody does breakfast like IHOP does breakfast and other novelty phrases.

IHOP might be in the pancake business for over 30 years, but personally I can count the times I had breakfast there on the fingers of one hand.
If Yakuza had cut off my thumb, middle finger and pinkie, I could still count the times on one hand.

The International House of Prayer is a Missouri-based church, formed in 1999 in Kansas City. They are being sued for using the same acronym, IHOP.

In their own words:

IHOP–KC is an evangelical missions organization that is committed to praying for the release of the fullness of God’s power and purpose as we actively win the lost, heal the sick, feed the poor, make disciples, and impact the seven spheres of society (family, education, government, economy, arts, media, and religion).

Amen to that.

It seems that IHOP is mighty ticked off by the church’s message, or by the fact that the church operates from IHOP.org. The church web site makes it pretty clear that they are not in any way associated with IHOP or its world famous pancakes.

It’s odd, however, that the International House of Pancakes is turning a blind eye onto IHOP.net – a creative agency’s web site, that also operates from IhopWorld.com.

On top of that, several other “IHOP” TLDs are parked, displaying content or ads related to pancakes, so why isn’t IHOP suing these instead?

We’ll have to wait and see how the International House of Prayer defends itself, in the name of Lord Jesus. They’d better get some aggressive lawyers together, lest they become an Internet House of Pain.


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Comments

7 Responses to “IHOP sues Missouri Church: Pancakes versus Eucharist”
  1. tricolorro says:

    Unfortunately I’m not the Judge or I’d toss this case out pronto.

    IHOP thinks they own the letters IHOP.

    Really.

    To me, it’s a lawsuit brought in bad faith as nothing on IHOP.org refers to pancakes or references
    the International House Of Pancakes.

    Further reading up on this shows the lawyers claim that the Church purposely chose their name
    ‘International House Of Prayer’ so they could use the IHOP acronym and ride the Pancake Chains coattails.

    Good luck proving that.

    One commenter on the CNN site said:
    ” so am i going to get in trouble for my non-profit organization – People for the Eating of Tasty Animals?”

    (aka PETA)

    🙂

  2. This is especially odd considering how many people eat at IHOP after going to church on Sunday. It’s almost like the pancake place is getting advertising for free.

  3. Pete says:

    Totally stupid lawsuit, IMO.

  4. Lucius "Guns" Fabrice says:

    Tric – There is a saying, there is no common sense in the military or the law. I would not be surprised if IHOP wins.

    Answering Service – I thought most church goers eat at Denny’s 😀

    Pete – Stupid or not, it’s still a lawsuit.

  5. tricolorro says:

    If anyone is interested, there is a good read on Mike Berkin’s blog today entitled:
    “Federal Court Finds “6 Hour Power” Does Not Infringe on “5 Hour Energy” Trademark”

    The excerpts covers what makes a trademark strong or weak and the likelihood of confusion
    among the general public.

    Of particular note for me was this:

    ““The Court is unwilling to hold that there is a likelihood of confusion merely because Defendant’s mark, like Plaintiff’s mark, describes the number of hours of energy that it will provide, especially where one focuses on “ENERGY” and the other focuses on “POWER.” To hold otherwise would, in essence, give Plaintiff a monopoly on the use of all marks in connection with energy products that describe the amount of hours or other denomination of time for which the products function.””

    Obviuosly the Pancake House aka IHOP wants “a monopoly on the use of all marks in connection with…” the 4 letter acronym IHOP.

    Please lose.

    🙂

  6. Lucius "Guns" Fabrice says:

    Great feedback, Tric. I definitely hope this becomes a monumental case of epic fail for the pancake giant, with the blessings of Jesus Christ and His lawyers. Amen.

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