The International House of Pancakes has a filed a lawsuit against a Kansas City, Mo.-based religious group that calls itself the International House of Prayer over the acronym “IHOP.”
The flapjack purveyor is flapping mad, so it’s going after the church group — which also calls itself “IHOP-KC” — for trademark dilution and infringement in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, The Kansas City Star reports.
The International House of Pancakes has been using the “IHOP” acronym since 1973, and has challenged a Kansas City, Mo.-based church group called the International House of Prayer over its use of the IHOP name.
The breakfast chain says it has used the “IHOP” acronym since 1973, and contends that the religious group has caused “great and irreparable injury and confuses the public” by adopting its four-character nickname.
Amusingly, because trademark infringement cases often come down to whether the defendant’s use of the plaintiff’s mark is “likely to cause confusion” between the two parties, this case could turn upon whether anyone is likely to confuse a church with a pancake joint.
Several people in comments have asked if the use of the word ‘obscure’ in the headline is intended to be ironic.