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Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order 207

An anonymous reader writes Ikea has sent the IkeaHackers blog a C&D order over the usage of the Ikea name. IkeaHackers hosts articles on how to hack Ikea furniture to make it more useful in daily life. From the article: "Speaking to the BBC, an Ikea representative said: 'We feel a great responsibility to our customers and that they always can trust Ikea... many people want to know what really is connected to Ikea - and what isn't. And we think that people should have that right. When other companies use the Ikea name for economic gain, it creates confusion and rights are lost.'
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Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order

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  • I always knew (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2014 @01:42PM (#47247493)

    their customer service was as shoddy as their furniture. Get more use from the box it came in than the actual furniture. Box is higher quality too.

  • Confusion? Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grahamsaa ( 1287732 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @01:44PM (#47247503)
    It seems like Ikea Hackers actually adds value to the Ikea brand and probably encourages traffic to their stores. I don't think anyone who's ever visited the site could be confused about whether it's an official Ikea site or not. This was a boneheaded decision.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2014 @01:52PM (#47247553)

    Site uses the Ikea logo and colors and contains no disclaimer. I can see how people could mistake it for an "official" site.

    There's a right way and a wrong way to do this. Sounds like they have chosen the wrong way.

  • by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @01:54PM (#47247569) Homepage

    So they are not allowed to do a professional job?

    What? I can share IKEA hacking techniques, but I must do it on a website plastered with Babylon 5 posters? and it must be called "The Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture company who must not be named Hacking".

    When referring to IKEA furniture you have to use their name, and an IKEA fan site will have an IKEA style, with IKEA colors.

    It is pretty obvious that such a site should just be placing the "we are unofficial" disclaimer somewhere up front.

  • Re:Ikea evil? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by just_another_sean ( 919159 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @01:57PM (#47247609) Journal

    Of course the above shows me forgetting that ikea is right in the domain name so maybe he doesn't have a lot of choices with regards to "re-branding" it...

  • by Shinobi ( 19308 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @02:03PM (#47247661)

    Adds traffic to the store? Riiiiiiight... Your geek-ego is overinflated... If it even does increase the traffic to IKEA, it's probably measured in something like 0.0001%

  • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @02:06PM (#47247687)

    I don't think anyone who's ever visited the site could be confused about whether it's an official Ikea site or not.

    At a glance, the site looks a lot like an official "Ikea" site - complete with blue and yellow theme, rotating images of Ikea products, etc. The Ikea cartoon figure guy who illustrates their instruction manual is plastered everywhere...

    That said, it seems the compromise they reached was fair.

    Keep using (domain) if you don't do it for benefit (e.g. remove the ads).

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @02:14PM (#47247759)
    In what way was it "wrong?" The C&D likely came from a legal firm hired to police their trademarks, without any prior knowledge of IKEA.

    When IKEA got involved, the site was allowed to keep the name, with a disclaimer and for non-commercial use. That means no ads - most of which seem to be for items made for use with IKEA offerings, and which IKEA might consider to be competitive.

    Seems perfectly reasonable to me. The site owner is complaining because he can't fund his site (or make a profit?) by selling ads.
  • by pixelpusher220 ( 529617 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @02:22PM (#47247829)
    Yes, that's the wrong way. Allowing lawyers to run free and wild without any thought towards what it's going to look like when you're major fan base starts hating you.

    IKEA could simply require them to have big 'We aren't IKEA" banners thus avoiding the 'confusion' they claim.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2014 @02:25PM (#47247853)

    I think that due to the infernal nonsense that is the progression of case law in the USA, granting permission to one infringement of trademark before a court has assessed a penalty is grounds for all future trademark infringers to cite that case as precedent to justify their own use without disclaimers of permission.

    Yes, something like this seems like it should be resolved with a letter saying "add a disclaimer and write us a formal request to use our logo, we like your suggestions of how to get more utility from our products," but that is the kind of resolution a rational mind comes up with, so it has no bearing on the courts of law.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @02:28PM (#47247873)

    Blame trademark law. They have to go after everybody or lose the mark.

    The right way:

                What a great site! We love what you're doing with our product! Keep it up. However, we've noticed that you're using our name and logo without license. That just wont work for various reasons it's not worth getting into. Nevertheless we need to address it to prevent future headaches. Please see the attached licensing agreement. It's for a period of 1 year with the condition that we can withdraw the agreement at anytime and it must be renewed yearly (this is just in case you sell the site to someone with less noble intentions, we'll be able to yank the license.) Please have a lawyer review the agreement, and if you agree, sign and mail it to the mailing address provided.

    Thanks and have a great day!
              The Ikea team

    Now, how hard was that?

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982