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article imageIHOP restaurant sues IHOP prayer center over acronym

By Cynthia Trowbridge     Sep 22, 2010 in Business
The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) is suing the International House of Prayer (IHOP) for infringement on their registered trademark.
The International House of Pancakes is based in Glendale, Calif., and has been using the IHOP initials since 1973.
The International House of Prayer is based in Kansas City, Mo, and was founded by Mike Bickle on May 7, 1999.
A lawsuit was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against the house of prayer for trademark dilution and infringement.
The similarities between the two is they both operate 24/7 year round. The restaurant is well known for their pancakes as well as lunch and dinner meals.
The prayer house is committed to prayer and worship with a 24/7 webstream
There are 1,476 restaurants across the country with one of six registered trademarks that has the IHOP acronym. The IHOP restaurant claims that by the religious group using IHOP also it causes, “great and irreparable injury and confuses the public.”
The lawsuit accuses the church of choosing their name so it could be abbreviated to IHOP with the intention to "misappropriate fame and notoriety of the food chain."
Patrick Lenow, the restaurant chain's spokesman said they have made repeated requests to the church to cease using the trademark. The group has refused and the lawsuit was filed.
Lenow said, “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."
Since the house of prayer has been around for over a decade and calling itself IHOP the reason Lenow gave for suing them now is, “They’ve expanded — and now some of the branches are serving food.”
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