That’s the Way the Pancake Crumbles

I saw this one coming.

The International House of Pancakes is suing The International House of Prayer — for infringement on an acronym. That’s right. From Relevant:

In what is sure to be seen as the most brilliant PR move since the naming of the Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘n Fruity, IHOP (The International House of Pancakes) is suing Kansas City-based ministry the International House of Prayer (also referred to as IHOP). The prayer IHOP, which is led by Mike Bickle and is the home to worship artists such as Misty Edwards, is primarily a college-student based ministry dedicated to praying for the needs of individuals around the world, social issues and campus revival.

The pancake IHOP is primarily a trucker-based establishment, dedicated to a culinary assault via breakfast food on road-weary travelers, late night weirdos and those who have given up on life. Oh, and college students. According to a lawsuit filed by IHOP (the Pancake House), the ministry “intended to misappropriate the fame and notoriety of the household name IHOP to help promote and make recognizable their religious organization.”

What do you think? Does the pancake house have a leg, er, griddle to stand on? I remember hearing that long before there was the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) there was the Evangelical Press Association (of which I am a member). Obviously, you can see which enterprise won the acronym. But can you copyright a grouping of letters? I don’t believe so. Will the House of Prayer overtake the Pancake House in household notoriety? If so, maybe IHOP I needs to realize that that’s just the way the pancake crumbles.

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About the Author

Suzanne Gosselin
Suzanne Hadley Gosselin

Suzanne Hadley Gosselin is a freelance writer and editor. She graduated from Multnomah University with a degree in journalism and biblical theology. She lives in California with her husband, Kevin, who is a family pastor, and her four young children: Josiah, Sadie, Amelia and Jackson. When she’s not hanging out with her kids, Suzanne loves a good cup of coffee, conversation with friends, musical theater and a trip to the beautiful California coast.

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