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Read more here : Pancake house takes on prayer group -



Comments (19)

Not a wise choice for a name. Just one of many bad puns sure to come out of this ... (They've gotten themselves into a real sticky situation - maybe if they butter them up a little bit they'll drop the lawsuit?)..

Comment #1

I believe all the prayer on Earth will not help the International House of Prayer. It would be easier and MUCH less expensive to change. It would also,- ironically, be the "Christ-like" thing to do...

Comment #2

This issue is a little fuzzy because I'm not sure what the law is pertaining to ownership of abbreviated names. Sure, IHOP owns the rights to The International House of Pancakes, but owning abbreviations are a little trickier. The name of the brand reflects the actual brand so if IHOP is to represent the international house of prayer, that is a totally different concept from pancakes. Food for thought... pun intended haha..

Comment #3

I think the International House of Prayer have every right to use the abbreviation IHOP. They should go tell the International House of Pancakes what they can do with their lawsuit, and probably counter sue...

Comment #4

There is a church I pass a few times a week and their domain name is HOP.ORG I usually think about IHOP each and every time LOLOL.

Wonder if they'll come after me too when I try to sell them

Comment #5

I don't see the infringement when one is a house of prayer and the other is a house of pancakes. Usage is key in this case. Is there any more to the story like prayer is using the same logo style? Or do they offer free pancakes with every donation.

The USPTO is filed with the same TMs for different genres. IHOP can't expect to brand protect across all of them and that should be the legal argument from the Prayer people...

Comment #6

If the panel follows the law, IHOP won't win. I don't even know if they have a TM in the "IHOP" acronym but even if they did, they would lose unless the church was trying to mislead people with the marks. Unlikely unless they're trying to create awareness as a pancake and prayer group...

Comment #7

I completely agree with you. The infringement is related to the use. It's just that IHOP is more known to everyone as the pancake guys and the Christians could lose the domain for having used it (as it'd be portrayed by the plaintiff) in bad faith...

Comment #8

Associativity between religion and an unrelated business is grounds for IHOP to sue PrayerHOP. Would you like your pancakes served with strychnine while your waitress handles venomous snakes? Sure, PrayerHOP might conduct themselves in a professional manner, but why take a chance? Why risk ruining IHOP's mark through dilution and the potential for tarnishment? International House of Prayer was started in 1999, IHOP restaurants started in 1958. IHOP has 1,500 restaurants in all 50 states and frequent, continuous, nationwide advertising in print, on-air, and online. There is absolutely no ground for PrayerHOP to claim ignorance of infringement...

Comment #9

I don't see anywhere in the linked report that constitutes bad faith useage. As far as I can see, IHOP are trying to claim that they have sole rights over the use of an acronym, which should not be grounds for a successful UDRP..

They also have to demonstrate bad faith useage/registration and a lack of legitimate interest in the domain...

Comment #10

Did Microsoft know about the popular music band "Live" when it names it's service "Live"?.

Did Microsoft know about the window manufacturer "Vista Windows" when it named it's next software OS "Windows Vista"?

Sorry but usage matters and you can't claim to think a church is related to your restaurant and that people are confused by them having the same acronyms.

I think this is defensible but the real question is does the Prayer have the money and will to fight?..

Comment #11

International House of.

It's about more than just an acronym. For example, if I started a website called "NFLscores.tld", even if my website was for the National Frisbee League, the verbage is protected, regardless, if the plaintiff can show confusing similarities that could endanger the trademark or the good name of a company...

Comment #12

Yep! The prayers wont work because confusing similarity persists. Many cases changed course because of this...

However, being Christian myself...I feel bad about this! It's all about dollar power when it comes to litigation of any kind...

Comment #13

Yes because people automatically think prayer when they are eating their pancakes.

And funny you mention NFLscores. (top 10 result from G no less)..

Comment #14


And also there are quite a few 'International House Of' entities..

Funny how it has taken 11 years for IHOpancakes to discover IHOprayer...

Comment #15

National Forensics League = 86 years old..

National Football League = 88 years old.

The football league was hardly as "national" then as it is today. Now, let's take a look at the other similar names:.

International House of Pancakes = 52 years old.

International House of Prayer = 11 years old.

Quite a bit of difference in the ages, wouldn't you agree? In fact, there are IHOP restaurants in basically every developed area of the United States. Now, why would IHOP be ticked?.

Oh, I don't know.. maybe it was the similarity in name, the use of the IHOP acronym, or perhaps the blatant rip-off of IHOP's colors, or some combination of all of the above that constitutes blatant infringement.


I get this feeling this debate is going down hill quick because IHOP is suing a church group. Now if they had filed a suit against the International House of Pedophiles, that would be a different story, wouldn't it?.

It's more than an issue with the use of "International House of", it's a combination of the verbage, acronym, and color scheme...

Comment #16

The comparison with IHOPedophiles is a bad one..

Everyone and his dog would be horrified at that name, probably more than would be sympathetic towards religion..

And there are a limited number of colours compared to millions/billions/trillions of websites..

To win a UDRP all three criteria must be proved, and I don't think the timing of the IHOPrayer (11 years) and IHOpancakes deciding to take action will help the cause.( Unless IHOprayer have recently engaged in bad faith activity)...

Comment #17

I am a Christian. I personally lost a friendship due to the religious IHOP movement. From personal experience and research (a few years ago), they seemed to have cultish characteristics, and a strong superiority/elitist mentality. A search for "IHOP" and "cult" brings up a lot of info.

This may be one reason why IHOP pancakes wants to be clearly distinguished from them.

Anyway, for the record, I do believe talking with God is a good thing!..

Comment #18

They ARE very well known (famous brand) by the acronym - I'm guessing they're concerned that their brand could be diluted or tarnished by marketplace confusion.

If they were to become associated with a particular religion (even regionally), it could make those of other faiths less likely to go there. The church is using - if you saw that without knowing this back story, would you think it could be a nonprofit branch of the "famous" IHOP? I see no disclaimer on the site.

I'm guessing that's their issue. Nobody's going to confuse the National Forensic League with the National Football League or a band with Microsoft search. All the more reason!..

Comment #19

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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