IHOP sues IHOP
I like to think of pancakes as the ultimate comfort food.
The acronym IHOP also stirs up images of the fluffy round hotcakes with hot maple syrup on top.
And that, apparently, is just what the corporate leaders of the International House of Pancakes want.
The Religion News Service is reporting that IHOP, the restaurant is suing IHOP, the church, over that familiar acronym.
Here’s the RNS story:
Usually known for serving 24/7 breakfasts, the International House of Pancakes has instead served a suit to the International House of Prayer, a Missouri church, for trademark infringement.
The restaurant chain — which uses the website IHOP.com — said the Kansas City church — whose website is IHOP.org — is intentionally misleading customers.
“We’ve asked International House of Prayer to stop using the name because it is our protected trademark,” said IHOP spokesman Patrick Lenow. “They’ve refused and it’s confusing our guests.”
The lawsuit, filed Sept. 9 in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, said the church “intended to misappropriate the fame and notoriety of the household name IHOP to help promote and make recognizable their religious organization.”
The restaurant chain, which started in 1958, has used the acronym since 1973.
The church declined to discuss the suit beyond a brief statement.
“We are aware of the lawsuit,” it said. “We are reviewing the situation. At this time, we have no comment.”
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