IHOP (the pancake-maker) sues IHOP (the prayer center) over trademark

The International House of Pancakes and International House of Prayer will be squaring off in court:

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.
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- Source / Full Story: IHOP (the pancake-maker) sues IHOP (the prayer center) over trademark, Donald Bradley, The Kansas City Star, Sep. 14, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Note: Paul Cain — a heretical minister who considers himself to be a prophet used the IHOP initials as an acrostic for the vision of the ministry, which was Intercession, Holiness, Offerings and Prophecy.

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