In this week’s weird religious news, “IHOP (the pancake-maker) sues IHOP (the prayer center) over trademark”. Apparently, International House of Pancakes has 6 registered trademarks using the IHOP acronym, and it feels that the International House of Prayer is infringing on those trademarks by knowing it too would be called IHOP for short, causing “great and irreparable injury and confuses the public.”
Now, IANAL (I hope that acronym’s not trademarked), but I don’t see where the pancake house has a case. I mean, to “confuse” pancakes with prayer? Similar lawsuits usually go against the one bringing it when there is no relationship or common ground whatsoever between either the companies or the products involved in the dispute.
I knew that the International House of Prayer was Pentecostal in nature, but what I didn’t know is that it was founded by leaders within the so-called Latter Rain Movement, which has some pretty dubious ideas about the latter days. The main issue is the belief that a certain spiritual elite will form and become perfect before the return of Jesus Christ. I don’t know about how you fell about it, but it seems to me that this type of mentality has played itself over and over again with various dictatorships and power grabs in mankind’s history.
Having said that, I don’t know what the IHOP of pancake fame seeks to gain by this. What do you think? Is this an attempt to distance themselves from any appearance of religious fanaticism? Is this suppression of religious ideas? Is this just another stupid lawsuit?
I don’t know, but it’s enough to make me ponder if I really want to eat at IHOP any more. Seems they could spend their time and money on better pursuits.