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IHOP sues IHOP for trademark infringement

IHOP, the International House of Pancakes, is suing IHOP, the International House of Prayer, for trademark infringement.

By Associated Press / September 17, 2010

IHOP, the International House of Pancakes has filed a suit against Kansas City's International House of Prayer, saying the religious group shouldn't be allowed to use the same acronym as the restaurant chain.

Newscom/File

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Kansas City, Mo.

The International House of Pancakes is suing another IHOP, the International House of Prayer, saying the church mission shouldn't be allowed to take advantage of the restaurant chain's famous name and acronym.

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The Kansas City Star reports that the chain says it sued only after the church mission refused repeated requests to stop using the IHOP acronym. Restaurant spokesman Patrick Lenow said the church has expanded and some branches are serving food. The lawsuit was filed last week in federal court in Los Angeles.

Gary Cooper, a former Houston attorney who until recently served as the church mission's chief financial officer, said he didn't think the lawsuit had any legal basis. The religious group, which promotes its belief in daily, continuous prayer, has drawn thousands of people to Kansas City since it opened 10 years ago.