But one emailer was troubled by the story’s multiple references to the church as IHOP. He wrote, in part:
I was surprised you referred to the International House of Prayer as IHOP, given that International House of Pancakes, the company that owns the trademark on IHOP, sued International House of Prayer to protect its trademark. Although the two organizations settled their case out of court, I find it troubling that an organization like The Kansas City Star would so freely use the acronym IHOP to refer to the International House of Prayer, particularly given the real IHOP’s concern over the inappropriate use of its trademarked name.
He’s correct that the issue between the two IHOPs were settled out of court, though IHOP is still the name the church is most recognized by in Kansas City. However, it seems to have largely switched to using IHOPKC in its own communications as a way of differentiating it.
I don’t think anyone is going to legitimately confuse the pancake house with the church. But there is also no reason not to use IHOPKC in further news coverage. I’ve made that suggestion to the newsroom.