There is IHOP, and there is IHOP. One, officially known as the International House of Pancakes, peddles breakfast foods all day, every day, 365 days a year. The latter is the International House of Prayer. It peddles Jesus all day, every day, 365 days a year. And now, in what is perhaps the best lawsuit of all time (or end-times, as the prayerful might wish to clarify), the former is suing the latter for trademark dilution and infringement.
Kansascity.com reports that pancake-IHOP, which is based in Glendale, California, filed suit in Los Angeles last week. The restaurant chain has been raising America’s glycemic index since 1973, while the Kansas City-based church has worked “in relationship with the larger Body of Christ to serve the Great Commission” since 1999, per its website.
Pancake-IHOP reportedly decided to file suit against prayer-IHOP when the latter began expanding and serving food (pancake breakfasts?); the church’s current plans to construct a $150 million world headquarters, complete with a 5,000-seat conference center and IHOP University, apparently aren’t conducive to the former’s idea of successful brand management. Whether the suit has any legal merit remains to be seen, though the folks in Kansas City would undoubtedly argue that regardless of the corporeal outcome, we will all get our day in heavenly court.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 15, 2010