IHOP Sues IHOP; Trademark Battle Pits Pancakes vs. God

from the rooty-tooty-fresh-'n'-godly dept

Via Consumerist, we learn that the International House of Pancakes, better known as IHOP to many, is suing a megachurch that goes by the name International House of Prayer -- and also known as IHOP. IHOP (the restaurant) does have a whole bunch of trademarks on the IHOP name, but those are supposed to be limited to restaurants and such. To deal with that, IHOP (food) is claiming that IHOP (church) is serving food at some of its locations -- though it's difficult to believe that anyone is confusing their Rooty Tooty Fresh 'n' Fruity breakfast meal with saying a prayer (even if some may claim an IHOP breakfast can be a form of religious experience). Of course, IHOP (food) is claiming "dilution," which has become popular these days, despite the troubling implications of dilution as a trademark concept. It does seem likely that IHOP (church) did come up with its name based on IHOP (food), but is that really so bad? Or do we just assume that people are too clueless to recognize the difference?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:27am

    Well, some churches provide food for thought...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:28am

    "Or do we just assume that people are too clueless to recognize the difference?"

    I dunno, there are some clueless lawyers out there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:36am

    Having eaten at IHOP (food) maybe they could have a merger of interest and have IHOP (prayer) pray over IHOP (food) with a focus on increasing quality while at the same time providing bodily nourishment in a unifying environment of mutual satification.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Kingster (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Re:

    Damn you, AC... I was just going to say essentially the same thing... voted as insightful and funny.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:45am

    Re:

    Fast food, sure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Don, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:48am

    Re:

    The problem with that quote is whom will you think of first when you read the letters IHOP first thing in the morning before breakfast. If IHOP the restaurant then good for them, if IHOP the church, then the restaurant may have lost a potential sale.

    It all has to do with marketing and mind suggestions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:48am

    ALL hail da pancake

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:49am

    And now a word from Mike Bickle, pastor/CEO of IHOP:

    "We're agents in God's hands, loosing through prayers of faith supernatural provisions for the saints and heavenly arsenals striking the power bases - the political and military and economic power bases across the world, the Holy Spirit will release Heavenly arsenal and strike and literally and physically destroy them through the prayers of faith of the unified body of Christ."

    I expect to see Michael, the archangel of Yaweh, swoop down on his plenary majestic wings to smite the evil pancake maker at Pastor Bickle's request.

    Apparently, all you have to do is pray hard enough and God will kill people for you.

    *Face screws up in concentration* "Oh Lord, thou art awesome and violent. Please smite Carrot Top in a way that is both smitey and spectacular. Surely thou must regonize the evil brought upon us by his supposed prop 'comedy'. That is all, Lord. Get to smitin'!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    William N (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:51am

    Mmm, sacrilicious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Steven (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re:

    Wait what? Did I miss you're sarcasm tag?

    Hmmm. I'm hungry. IHOP sounds good. Wait that's a church. I guess I'm not hungry any more and I want to go to church. Really?!?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Steven (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:02am

    Re: And now a word from Mike Bickle, pastor/CEO of IHOP:

    Oh come on now. I saw carrot top in Vegas and laughed my ass off. Although he is a fugly human being.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:15am

    Does the 'Mormon in a hurry' standard apply?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Re:

    Depends which wife he's hurrying to....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Pancaking Burning

    IHOP (food) better be careful not to make IHOP (church) mad. IHOP (church) might start an International Pancake Aflame Day (IPAD).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    rangda (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:22am

    Re: And now a word from Mike Bickle, pastor/CEO of IHOP:

    "Apparently, all you have to do is pray hard enough and God will kill people for you."

    Depends on which god you're talking about. The Christian God is apparently schizophrenic.

    You have the old testament god who is all about smiting & killing, and "do what I say or else", and periodically wiping out humanity with various elements.

    Then you have the new testament where Jesus is hippy that says "God is cool, man".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or what if you're looking for the church, and you end up in the restaurant? THINK OF THE SOULS!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: And now a word from Mike Bickle, pastor/CEO of IHOP:

    Although he is a fugly human being.

    I always assumed that was just part of his schtick.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: And now a word from Mike Bickle, pastor/CEO of IHOP:

    To play Devil's Advocate, there's allegedly a span of thousands(?) of years between the Old Testament and the New Testament, so their god isn't necessarily schizophrenic; maybe he just changed his tact when shock and awe wasn't working.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: And now a word from Mike Bickle, pastor/CEO of IHOP:

    "I always assumed that was just part of his schtick."

    Well, I've never seen it, but I assume his schtick is butt ugly as well.

    ....or is that not what you meant?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:57am

    im down for the rooty tootie fresh and damnation with a side of eternal hellfire and brimstone...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Vinnie, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 9:14am

    Go, pancakes!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: And now a word from Mike Bickle, pastor/CEO of IHOP:

    To put this in real perspective , MAybe the God of the old testament has not changed where in the new testament it says at 2 THess 1:6-8

    This takes into account that it is righteous on God’s part to repay tribulation to those who make tribulation for YOU, 7 but, to YOU who suffer tribulation, relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels 8 in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Joe Maple, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: And now a word from Mike Bickle, pastor/CEO of IHOP:

    What does that have to do with pancakes? Are there any fire-and-brimstone passages relating the divine stance on griddled quickbreads?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    DS, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Hey I don't blame them in this case. If I owned IHOP (the pancake one), I'd rather the International House of Porn use my initials than an International House of Prayer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And now a word from Mike Bickle, pastor/CEO of IHOP:

    And the lord sayeth unto the flock "Follw me and thou shalt have multiple syrups to slather on griddled quickbreads."~Wafflecitus 14:18

    Do we need seperation of church and commerce?
    I thought they were the same.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: And now a word from Mike Bickle, pastor/CEO of IHOP:

    lots of ppl chill out when they become parents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 10:41am

    Re:

    The inevitable IHOP (church) scandal will negatively effect IHOP (food)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 10:50am

    Nice IHOP, real nice.

    I'll go elsewhere for pancakes now, so tired of this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you're that hungry, you should go to the International House of Spaghetti. (Monster)

    CBMHB

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Krakon, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    IHOP, UHOP, We all HOP for IHOP

    My pants are the International House of Penis.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    One interesting thing is that the International House of Pancakes restaurants are not located in any other country besides the United States.

    Kind of like our World Series of baseball, because Toronto is almost like being part of the US.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    DS, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re:

    But will it affect IHOP (porn)?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 4:21pm

    Re:

    And hopefully some solid (spiritual) food along the way...

    Now if the International House of Pancakes were to start to provide this type of food, there may be some confusion here. :->

    But I doubt that the International House of Prayer is concerned by issues such as "dilution". They might even be more inclined to resolve this without resorting to lawsuits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Transbot9, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 9:38pm

    According to the articles I've read, they've tried to settle this...

    IHOP[ancakes] isn't even seeking damages - just legal fees and for the church to stop using the acronym. Granted, that's if the reporting is accurate. IHOP[rayer] has even started a University.

    "Oh I go to IHOP University"
    "They have a university for making pancakes?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Sep 18th, 2010 @ 12:27am

    Re:

    One interesting thing is that the International House of Pancakes restaurants are not located in any other country besides the United States.

    IHOP has restaurants in Canada and Mexico.

    I realize that you consider Canada the 51st state (given your statement about the World Series of Baseball,) but Mexico? If you said IHOP is only in America, I'd agree, but only in the US?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Jimbo, Sep 18th, 2010 @ 6:53pm

    I admit

    I really didn't read that much of the article. I just came in here to say can a lawsuit or anyone suing organized religion be that bad?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    pam, Sep 18th, 2010 @ 8:44pm

    I kinda disagree...

    IHOPrayer is awesome...IHOPancakes is awesome too...but I know for sure that the following statement from the article above is somewhat untrue...after all it is just an opinion:

    "It does seem likely that IHOP (church) did come up with its name based on IHOP (food), but is that really so bad? Or do we just assume that people are too clueless to recognize the difference?"

    First of all, there are two verses in the Bible upon which IHOPrayer has PROBABLY based there name...

    The first Bible verse is Isaiah 56:7 "Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations."
    Keep in mind..."for all nations" means INTERNATIONAL....
    Then in Matthew 21:13: "And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,"
    So obviously the name must have been taken from the Bible, not just "cluelessly." It's just a coincidence that the acronym is the same....In my opinion that is... :)...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Pam, Sep 18th, 2010 @ 9:11pm

    Continued

    oh...and in my above comment...I want to clear up something...
    When I had written ...
    "The first Bible verse is Isaiah 56:7 "Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations."

    Please keep in mind that in the Old Testament, burnt offerings and sacrifices represented surrender and repentance. But in the New Testament, through Jesus Christ (because He was the ultimate PERFECT sacrifice by giving up His life) it is not necessary to LITERALLY bring burnt offerings and animal sacrifices to the altar anymore because through the new covenant in Jesus. His shed blood on the cross is perfect and is able to wash us clean from all sin if will just ask (confession) Him to forgive us. A Bible verse in 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." In the present day...surrender and repentance are prerequites to worshipping the Lord Jesus :) IHOPrayer is a place of unceasing prayer and WORSHIP. No burnt offerings/ animal sacrifices are needed anymore! If any church still does it, they obviously do no believe in the whole Bible (Old AND NEW Testaments). IHOPrayer believes in the whole Bible (Old and New Testament). Animal sacrifices or such does not exist at IHOPrayer....ok...just want to clear that up..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Pam, Sep 18th, 2010 @ 9:17pm

    Correction

    I messed up grammatically on this phrase and probably other things too...sorry...

    Please keep in mind that in the Old Testament, burnt offerings and sacrifices represented surrender and repentance. But in the New Testament, through Jesus Christ (because He was the ultimate PERFECT sacrifice by giving up His life) it is not necessary to LITERALLY bring burnt offerings and animal sacrifices to the altar anymore because OF (correction) the new covenant in Jesus.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    mikez (profile), Sep 20th, 2010 @ 7:11am

    IHOP

    I live near an IHOP (church) in DC, and there are no IHOP (restaurants) in DC that I'm aware of. The church sells soul food out of it's basement and is a very popular place for take-out lunches. I'll assume that their churches in other cities do the same, so there may be some basis for the trademark suit.

    Was away for the weekend, so i'm getting to this late.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 28th, 2010 @ 4:34pm

    Colbert Gets It Wrong

    Colbert disappointed me. No, not from his congressional presentation regarding migrant labor...

    On The Colbert Report Sept 27, 2010, he covered this IHOP versus IHOP issue, opening the bit saying something like,

    "Speaking of COPYRIGHT issues", then launched into a discussion of the IHOP TRADEMARK issue.

    Too few people understand Intellectual "Property" in this country - least of all our congresspeople.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 10:13am

    ppeeeooplleee chill out they named it IHOP (church) they cant take it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This