International House of Prayercakes

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If I told you that IHOP was looking forward to the "great end-time harvest of souls," would you find someplace else to have breakfast?  If so, then there might be something to the new lawsuit by IHOP against IHOP — that's the International House of Pancakes against the International House of Prayer.  The former sued the latter last week in Los Angeles federal court for trademark dilution and infringement.

According to its website, the International House of Prayer is an "evangelical missions organization" founded in Kansas City in 1999 that is committed to prayer and worship 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (For the first four months, it was just 13 hours a day, but they ramped up to the full 24/7 after that.) The group believes in the Rapture, the Great Tribulation, the "great end-time harvest of souls," and that "when unbelievers die, they are consigned to hell, there to await the Day of Judgment when they shall be punished in the lake of fire with eternal, conscious, and tormented separation from the presence of God."

The other IHOP is currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of the "Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity."

According to the report, that IHOP has been asking the International House of Prayer to stop using the acronym for years and is finally fed up. The last straw, according to a spokesperson, was that the church has continued to expand, "and now some of the branches are serving food."  It is still hard to see consumers getting confused about which IHOP they are in, but the report quoted an intellectual property attorney in Los Angeles as saying the IHOP name was so famous that a court might well give it expanded protection even outside the glorious realm of pancakes.

Link: Legal Blog Watch