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Trademark Law

IHOP Sues International House of Prayer

Posted Sep 16, 2010 9:23 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The International House of Pancakes has sued the International House of Prayer, claiming the church’s acronym infringes IHOP trademarks.

The church, which helps parishioners prepare for “end times,” was established in Kansas City, Mo., 10 years ago, the Kansas City Star reports. Patrick Lenow, a spokesman for the restaurant chain, told the Kansas City Star that his company decided to sue now because the restaurant has expanded and some branches are serving food.

The ministry is planning to build a $150 million world headquarters that includes an IHOP university, the Star says. The suit was filed last week in Los Angeles federal court.

“Pancakes and prayers—have we reached a point where even those two can’t get along?” the newspaper asks.

Gary Cooper, a former Houston Lawyer who serves on the church board, told the Star that the suit lacks legal basis.

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