Okay so IHOPancakes is suing IHOPrayer-Kansas City for Trademark infringement of using the same acronym. I have a lot of thoughts on this . . .
1) Whopper the Burger and Whopper the candy. It’s the same type of product and there’s no lawsuit there. But Pancakes vs. Prayer is too great of competition?
2) The lawsuit states that many of the Prayer centers are beginning to serve food (i.e. competition with the restaurant). I’ve been there. They have a little cafe at the IHOP-KC. You can get coffee there, bagels there, and they have a few sandwich options. They also have a gigantic selection of juices (probably for those who are fasting – which in their setting is quite numerous and frequent). Few people in the cafe are actually eating though – its more of a community building location. Very very very very little competition with anything that actually resembles a restaurant.
3) There are hundreds of IHOPrayers all over the world. They’re not associated legally by any means. They just like each other. If I wanted to start a Waterloo International House of Prayer, I could. And IHOP-KC would give me their logo and say, “Here you go. Good luck. Let us know how we can help.” There’d be no association. Pancakes needs to sue more people than they’d imagine.
4) Jesus said that his house is to be called a “House of Prayer.” The Leaders of this ministry wanted to reach the nations (which they are doing). Therefore, “International House of Prayer” seems to be a logical (and scripturally based name). Should they keep it or give it up? I’m not sure – but one things for sure… the ministry did not maliciously name their ministry hoping to make the restaurant look bad (yet the lawsuit claims they did). Heck, there’s a IHOPancakes down the street from the prayer room, and i’m told the manager used to give the prayers discounts if they said they were with the IHOPrayer center.
5) Most of all, I’m disgusted by the incredibly one-sided News Reports. IHOP was called a cult in some articles. Mike Bickle was called a money hungry leader. Now I’m not saying Bickle is perfect – but money hungry he is not. I’ve been to their conferences. They have to cost about $500k to put together (I’m speaking of the OneThing conference). They charge nothing – donations cover it all. Year round they supply a FREE webstream of their prayer room. They’ve got to be losing SO MUCH MONEY doing that for free – but God keeps providing. They used to charge $10 for the webstream, but they opened it up to be free. Does that sound like someone that’s money hungry.
IHOP-KC isn’t perfect – not at all.
But their contribution to the body of Christ is to great to ignore. www.theprayerroom.tv