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Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the stop-it dept.

Businesses 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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Kind of see their point... (5, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | about 6 months ago | (#47247481)

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

Re:Kind of see their point... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Kind of see their point... (5, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Kind of see their point... (1)

pablo.cl (539566) | about 6 months ago | (#47247791)

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 IkeaHackers have chosen the wrong way.

FTFY

Re:Kind of see their point... (4, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Kind of see their point... (0)

aitikin (909209) | about 6 months ago | (#47247985)

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.

No, that's the ONLY way in the US from my understanding (IANAL). They have a legal requirement to use and defend their trademark or they will lose it.

Re:Kind of see their point... (2)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 6 months ago | (#47248093)

Nope, it isn't. It's a very legal response but 'defend' can simply mean have the other party clearly indicate they aren't you.

I.e. every commercial says 'Coke is a trademark of Coca-Coal Industries' when they use a Coke product placement. As long as you assign who own the trademark you're using you can use it (with some legal caveats I'm sure).

Re:Kind of see their point... (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 6 months ago | (#47247821)

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.

Because a C&D is somehow damaging to the "IkeaHackers.net" brand beyond the obviously untenable position regarding their name? If IkeaHackers is serious about operating in good faith they will choose a similar but un-infringing name and go on with their lives. The wrong way would be a C&D followed the next day by a court order and the day after by a subpoena and lawsuit.

Re:Kind of see their point... (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 months ago | (#47247921)

The problem with "Ikea Hackers" is it's simply descriptive. It's not a trademark really. Ikea is going draconian retard over something that's a simple description of what the relevant fan site is about.

Re:Kind of see their point... (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#47247569)

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:Kind of see their point... (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#47247613)

The argument for nominative use of a trademark is much stronger if you use only the name "IKEA" in the same font as the rest of the logo, not the logo or trade dress. But then "FlatpackHackers" would have worked just as well, covering hacks to both IKEA and Sauder brands.

Re: Kind of see their point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247711)

Or they could maybe just clearly state that it is not an official Ikea site?

Professional does not require copying (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 6 months ago | (#47247723)

So they are not allowed to do a professional job?

Not when it makes it look like they speak for the company. Presenting a professional image does not require using someone else's trademarks and copyrights. There is nothing prohibiting them from taking appropriate steps to make it clear they are in no way, shape or form associated with IKEA.

That said, it sounds like IKEA decided to go the douchebag route instead of cooperating with these guys who are clearly superfans. Kind of a pity they couldn't be cooler about the whole thing.

Re:Professional does not require copying (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 6 months ago | (#47247851)

What was douchebag about it? Are they supposed let them use their brand and make money off it while advertising competing items? They let him keep the domain, the only thing was he needed to remove the advertising and put up a disclaimer, that seems pretty fine to me.

Re:Professional does not require copying (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 6 months ago | (#47247937)

What was douchebag about it?

They could have worked with the guy to come to some sort of satisfactory middle ground. Hell, they could have even worked with the site owners. (heaven forbid) The site owner(s) obviously like(s) the Ikea products, at least from a certain perspective. But instead IKEA seems to have led off with a C&D letter which is universal the Not Nice way of doing things. Appropriate maybe but not nice.

Re:Professional does not require copying (3, Informative)

thaylin (555395) | about 6 months ago | (#47247979)

They did work with them to maintain a middle ground.. He wanted to keep the site as it was, they wanted the site dismantled. Middle ground, he gets to keep the site but must make a disclaimer and remove the advertising...I know most /.ers dont understand what a middle ground is, but that is one....

It does not matter how much you like their products, you dont have a right to use their property without their prior permission, which he did not have.

Re:Kind of see their point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47248001)

Rename to "Cheap-ass Crappy Furniture Hacking"

Kind of see their point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247703)

I see your point, and unless the logo is trademarked good luck fighting that battle in court. If it is over the trademarked logo that's one thing but the name itself has been longed used, and in fact I would sue Ikea for using the name without permission.

I am just throwing things out there if Ikea is going to be anal over a name. And to your point the site is "IkeaHacking" how could that mislead you into thinking it was Ikea's official site? And if you read the contents within the IkeaHacking site that too would cause you to realize it isn't the official site as well.

Re:Kind of see their point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247737)

>When other companies use the Ikea name for economic gain, it creates confusion and rights are lost.

They have no point since there is no gain. (unless those "ads" pay out the ass, unlikely.)
And this is likely only going to piss off a considerable number of possible-customers for Ikea stuff.

Genius Ikea, way to go. You couldn't just send a nice little e-mail to them saying, "hey, put a disclaimer up that it is unofficial, thanks for the traffic. Want to have an affiliate program with us? Write back soon, love, Ikea" ?
BAM, instantly a better thing, everyone wins even more.
That person should be fired and I should be hired, I already did a better job than them.

Re:Kind of see their point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247887)

From the sounds of it, the owner of the site lives off the ad revenue.

Unfortunately this fate befalls a lot of fan sites. Some random fan decides to start a website in their spare time for some niche interest. No one ever thinks "I better check with my lawyer to make sure I'm not infringing on someones intellectual property" when making a simple blog. That site eventually becomes popular and suddenly is getting major traffic/attention/generating serious ad revenue. Then the lawyers come.

I'm actually surprised Ikea went this route. Normally in these situations, it's the use of trademark/trade dress that is the big deal. Hasbro doesn't care if you sell a lime green pony plushie for $1000 on ebay, but don't you dare throw the L work in there. In this case they are saying "use our trademark, just don't make money from it". Very unusual to me.

Kind of see their point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247765)

I could see how someone who hardly ever uses computers might. But I feel like this late in the game it should be expected that people will realize that any url that isn't the company name probably isn't from the company.

Re:Kind of see their point... (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 months ago | (#47248031)

Yes not all trademark lawsuits are based on complete evil money grabbing. But based on actually protecting their Trademark from confusing their brand with something else.

Even if people realize that it isn't an "official" site but it could be confused with a sanctioned site. If any of those hacks produce something dangerous or poor quality, people may blame them for following the tricks off the site.

Took them 4 years to figure this out??? (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | about 6 months ago | (#47248135)

The site has been up in one way or another since late 2010. What took them so long?

I always knew (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#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? (4, Insightful)

grahamsaa (1287732) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Confusion? Really? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247557)

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

Re:Confusion? Really? (2)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 6 months ago | (#47247695)

It sounds like simple trademark stupidity, probably from an outside trademark protection co so they can say hey we paid these respected people to do it. It's really not that hard take down the trademark they can still say ikea etc just not use the logo or have it incorporated into the site name.

Re:Confusion? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247709)

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

They could have worked with him, like Valve worked with the Black Mesa: Source people to rename their project, simply, Black Mesa.

Or, they could have sponsored him. I guarantee that the revenue that ikeahackers brought to IKEA in terms of sales is much greater than the cost of the site's bandwidth.

Re:Confusion? Really? (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 6 months ago | (#47248105)

They did work [ikeahackers.net] with her. [google.com] They have agreed to let her keep the domain. She simply can't profit from it so the ads have to go. She posted on the site she is looking for a new domain to transition to over time since she does need the revenue the ads bring to keep the site viable. It sucks but at least they are working with her and maybe they will realize the benefit she is to them and help her out.

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

Albanach (527650) | about 6 months ago | (#47247733)

They have to go after everybody or lose the mark.

Or simply grant permission?

Re:Confusion? Really? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 6 months ago | (#47248109)

Or licensing it for $1/yr.

Re:Confusion? Really? (3, Informative)

BronsCon (927697) | about 6 months ago | (#47247801)

No, they have to act to protect their trademark; the list of protective actions also includes licensing.

Re:Confusion? Really? (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47247873)

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

The right way:

Dear Ikeahackers.com,
            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?

Re:Confusion? Really? (4, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 6 months ago | (#47247879)

A lawyer explained to me that that is not true. They have another option.

They can send a letter to the site offering them a $0/yr license to use the mark.

In my non-lawyer opinion, I think they could also send them a letter stating that Ikea decided not to sue them because are not infringing, and advise them how to use the mark appropriately to prevent future infringement. I remember talking to a lawyer about this and he didn't like that approach, but I believe lawyers are biased on this subject. Probably because it prevents their ability to sue in the future. But that's how lawyers think. If I explained copyleft to him his head probably would have exploded.

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#47247911)

I find it very strange that they are continuing to allow them to use the trademark/trade dress with the non-commercial condition.

I don't understand trademark law, but I thought it didn't matter whether money was being made or not.

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 6 months ago | (#47248057)

Why not? Now they can say they took steps to protect their trademark and they get free advertising from the guy. And they make their own lawyers happy by enforcing the non-commercial aspect. Other than the negative press they are getting at the moment for going after the "little guy" in the long term they make out OK.

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 months ago | (#47247961)

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

Or they could have given explicit permission.

Trademark law doesn't require that you be a jack*ss. The idea that it does is just the just Ayn Rand-ism talking.

Re:Confusion? Really? (2, Insightful)

Shinobi (19308) | about 6 months ago | (#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%

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 6 months ago | (#47247859)

Your response is a little angry to a generic statement. That said, regardless of the percentage, or how small it is, that is still an additional sale.

While I shop at ikea (okay so I am forced to by my wife) for some things, a move like this will actually make me think twice about it. Now they will have to generate stats on lost sales due to their handling of this situation.

An example was the Lack series of products, conveniently 19 inches between the legs, perfect for a rack mount server (after beefing up the legs a little). Had it not been for that hack, I would never have even considered purchasing that series of item.

Re:Confusion? Really? (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about 6 months ago | (#47248121)

If you have 19 inches between the legs, you probably don't need to worry about a rack mount.

Re:Confusion? Really? (4, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#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 IkeaHackers.net (domain) if you don't do it for benefit (e.g. remove the ads).

Re:Confusion? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47248079)

the site looks a lot like an official "Ikea" site - complete with blue and yellow theme . . .

Quick, IKEA, sue the flag of Sweden.

Re:Confusion? Really? (4, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | about 6 months ago | (#47247717)

They spent eight years trying to convince the site to use something that didn't infringe IKEA's trademark, and only after all that did they finally decide to actually use the courts.

So, maybe waiting 8 years and trying to work it out with these guys without suing them was the boneheaded move?

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#47247949)

Where'd you get that from?

I don't disbelieve it, and it would certainly make a lot more sense, but I don't see this mentioned in either article, and the blog post linked seems to imply that they went straight to C&D.

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 6 months ago | (#47247993)

I read this on Ars earlier in the day. The site has been up for eight years, and the C&D came recently, since the owner didn't want to take down the Ikea-style branding or the ads (Ikea said that it would be fine without the advertising if the owner ran the site as a non-commercial entity).

It's classic trademark/trade dress infringement, that has been either flying under the radar or simply hasn't been a concern to Ikea until recently - perhaps the ads being served alongside what could be confused for their branding changed, or maybe a new guy is in charge of legal over there now?

Who knows.

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 6 months ago | (#47248113)

Got a link because the article

http://arstechnica.com/tech-po... [arstechnica.com]

Basically duplicates Slashdot (which of course duplicates itself often).

Re:Confusion? Really? (2)

jo_ham (604554) | about 6 months ago | (#47248165)

Yes, so I see after re-reading it. I could have sworn the original stated that they asked her to take the ads down before, but I guess not.

Like a man in orthopaedic shoes, I stand corrected.

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

cbeaudry (706335) | about 6 months ago | (#47248153)

Actually, you did not answer the question.

You are assuming they have been trying to convince him for 8 years.

The truth (seems to be, as I am not associated and do not have first knowledge) seems to be that he has been operating for 8 years, under the radar as you said, and out of the blue, they sent him a C&D letter.

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 6 months ago | (#47248179)

Yeah, I went back and re-read the article on Ars, which I seem to have misremembered - it pretty much says what the slashdot summary says.

I had taken from the Ars piece that they had asked her previously to remove the adverts, but it seems I was incorrect. I read it during luck and I guess I didn't give it enough attention.

Re: Confusion? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247989)

Citation needed on IKEA having spent eight years trying to come to an agreement.

Re: Confusion? Really? (0)

jo_ham (604554) | about 6 months ago | (#47248017)

Citation needed on IKEA having spent eight years trying to come to an agreement.

Error 404: citation not found. User not logged in. Please try again without the "post anonymously" box checked.

Re: Confusion? Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47248107)

You don't have a citation, and you resort to ad hominem when called out for it. "jo_ham" is about as anonymous as it gets. Faggot.

Re: Confusion? Really? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 6 months ago | (#47248127)

You don't have a citation, and you resort to ad hominem when called out for it. "jo_ham" is about as anonymous as it gets. Faggot.

Error 404: logical fallacy not found. Ad hominem attack not detected. Please log in and try again.

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

westlake (615356) | about 6 months ago | (#47247953)

It seems like Ikea Hackers actually adds value to the Ikea brand and probably encourages traffic to their stores.

Until a project goes wrong in a really big way and IKEA takes the blame.

Re:Confusion? Really? (1)

fermion (181285) | about 6 months ago | (#47248023)

They can use a different logo. They can use different colors. They can add a big disclaimer. There is legitimate confusion here. I personally hate when this happens, when I am looking for a company website, and someone else has set up a nearly duplicate website. I am not say that these people are malicious, probably just clueless. But really one can create an respectful homage without creating a ripoff.

Shittyfurniturehackers.com (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247535)

Here's your new domain...

Re:Shittyfurniturehackers.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247587)

Here's your new domain...

You just insulted shit.

Re:Shittyfurniturehackers.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247601)

aekifurniturehackers.com

Ikea evil? (5, Interesting)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 6 months ago | (#47247555)

While it does seem like they were kind of thuggish about it I can sort of understand IKEA's position. He's using their trademarks and name without much mention of the fact it's not an official site and while it looks like it's a neat DIY type of site it is also covered in ads. The explanation offered in the article is reasonable but he calls himself naive for not seeing this coming so he does seem to understand what he's doing wrong.

I see him having two options; 1) comply and take down all the advertising plus put up a clear disclaimer that he's not affiliated with IKEA or 2) radically change the site to remove all mention of IKEA and their trademarks.

1 seems like a better option for his community while 2 would be better for him, if he can keep his community going despite downplaying IKEA as an important aspect of it, e.g. just make it about furniture in general.

While I can respect IKEA's stance I wish they could have done more to work with him, seems to me he's providing free advertising and a fair bit of fan excitement about their products. If they could set some reasonable guidelines on what they expect from a fan site I'm sure he guy would have complied...

Re:Ikea evil? (3, Insightful)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 6 months ago | (#47247609)

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...

Re:Ikea evil? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 6 months ago | (#47248141)

For a few dollars, you buy a new domain and the old one redirects for 6 months before disappearing. I would be surprised if IKEA wasn't fine with that.

Re:Ikea evil? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47247731)

I'd go for 3, start talking with IKEA, point out how the suggestions to improve their furniture may well lead to increased sales due to people finding new uses for their furniture while at the same time offering to present relevant disclaimers that he's not in any way endorsed by IKEA.

Corporations can be surprisingly approachable if it is in their own interest...

Re:Ikea evil? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 6 months ago | (#47247935)

What about:

3:
a) Remove adds.
b) Become a partner of IKEA.
c) Get paid by IKEA for maintaining a website of hacks using their products (may be harder if he "steal" ideas from around the web possibly or get ideas from others? I don't know.)

Re:Ikea evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47248027)

I think one of the downsides to this is that Ikea has to maintain standards and adhere to regulations(US and elsewhere). A DIY hack site doesn't have to do that at all. Verifying every DIY idea will end up being expensive for Ikea. With IkeaHackers not being officially sanctioned by the corporation, they are not liable for people impaling themselves when their DIY project goes bad. At the same time, they need to present a front that shows they are not endorsing IkeaHackers. In fact, they have to show that there is no support for IkeaHackers coming from Ikea, perceived or real. If someone took Ikea to court and showed there was a perceived endorsement that Ikea refused to deny publicly, then they could be liable for allowing IkeaHackers to publish potentially dangerous DIY projects.

This is all hypothetical, and the above examples are long shots at best, but from my perspective it looks like Ikea is simply trying to distance itself from IkeaHackers, while at the same time allowing IkeaHackers to do what they do. If this was a video game company, /. would be raving at how great the company was for protecting its IP while at the same time protecting & encouraging its modding community.

Re:Ikea evil? (2, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | about 6 months ago | (#47247735)

"Thuggish" is trying to work it out with these guys for 8 years before finally taking them to court?

Man, the thugs in your neighbourhood must be really polite.

Re:Ikea evil? (0)

Shinobi (19308) | about 6 months ago | (#47247861)

You forget the entitlement issues some geeks have: They are allowed to do what they want, and others should just have to conform to them, all while they demand that others should obey their pet licenses/trademarks/copyright.

The whole thing smacks of a bit of organisational ID theft: they use the IKEA logo, the IKEA graphical design etc as closely as possible, to draw in people, in an attempt to profit from it with the advertising.

Re:Ikea evil? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 6 months ago | (#47248147)

It's free advertising for IKEA - the last thing they want is for the site to just disappear. But they still have to defend their trademark.

Re:Ikea evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247907)

Thuggish? I guess next time they should skip straight to suing rather than a C&D letter?

Re:Ikea evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47248051)

Or 3) Offer the guy a job running the site full time (Director of Online DIY Community Development) on the stipulation that he hand over the site, domain name, and transfer all of the advertising to Ikea.

Seems to me that this option benefits everyone. Ikea gets a popular site and protects its trademark in exchange for hiring one new employee. The guy turns a hobby into a job and keeps doing what he obviously enjoys doing. DIY community gets a strengthened site with potentially better content. If the guy running the site turns them down, then do what they did.

Ikea's response seems ill-advised at best but when your lawyers only tool is a hammer...

Wasted opportunity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247595)

Could of easily offered an affiliate ad solution. Each hacked product with a ad link to buy the product. Win win. Driving sales and getting involved with what appears a large dedicated community.

Re: Wasted opportunity (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247607)

Could "have" dammit!

stupid move (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247605)

Ironically thanks to this site I've actually bought Ikea furniture. Way to miss an opportunity, Ikea.

Re:stupid move (2)

rewindustry (3401253) | about 6 months ago | (#47247663)

agree - sites like this make ikea crap more desireable, not less.

Re:stupid move (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247805)

Admit it... You didn't buy anything.

Re:stupid move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47248145)

Admit it... You didn't buy anything.

I bought and made a desk and some shelving, actually

How very Republican of them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247623)

They fuck over and attack the people that are making money for them by pushing their products. They're so stupid they hate the people that help them. That is the Republican way. Just stupidity lashing out constantly with hate with no thought. That is why they are so racist. Ever seen a minority in Ikea? I haven't, and I worked in a restaurant next to one. A lot of their employees ate in our place, and of course there wasn't a single minority. They are probably the most Republican company in the world. That is the way of their kind. Fuck them and their racism. Fuck them harder for taking the Jerker desk from us. It was a great desk, and because they hate their customers so much, they took it from us.

Re:How very Republican of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247865)

How very stupid of you to repeat this idiotic troll comment yet again. Moron.

BETA. AAAAAA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247675)

Why the fuck am I seeing beta?

FUUUUUUCK Beta!

Update to this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247677)

IKEA has sued the country of Sweden for using yellow and blue in its flag.

Re:Update to this story (1)

dysmal (3361085) | about 6 months ago | (#47247909)

Apple, they are not!

When will this stop being news? (1)

dejanc (1528235) | about 6 months ago | (#47247685)

The owner of trademark has to "protect" it or they will lose the exclusive right to use it. It's described here [wikipedia.org] . Lawyers have to send C&D letters and sue for infringement because that's what the law says they have to do in order to keep the right to use their trademark.

IkeaHackers does use IKEA's logo and it really can be mistaken for IKEA's trademark, so the lawyers had to act. It was routine, and it wasn't some evil corporate guy who just wanted to make that blogger's life miserable.

Re:When will this stop being news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247739)

Ikea is trademarked.

Ikeahacking is NOT - nothing to protect.

Tradedress must be covered by other copyrights or trademarks, if their site isn't trademarked, then it's fair game.

Re:When will this stop being news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247761)

Would you please shut up with that shit. From your own fucking link:

"It is not necessary for a trademark owner to take enforcement action against all infringement if it can be shown that the owner perceived the infringement to be minor and inconsequential."

There is absolutely no reason for Ikea to pull this kind of bullshit.

Re:When will this stop being news? (1)

Albanach (527650) | about 6 months ago | (#47247777)

If permission is granted there is no infringement. So it's incorrect to say the only response is to send a cease and desist. It would seem that they may be able send a letter saying "we grant you permission to use the ikea name and colors in exchange for a clear disclaimer on each page that you are unaffiliated." They could even state that permission is revokable at any time, in case they want some degree of protection should the site do something Ikea later dislikes.

Re:When will this stop being news? (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 6 months ago | (#47247939)

They could have handled it better. Yes they have to protect their brand. No they do not have to use C&D and lawsuits to do it. The link you even posted specifies that legal action is not required.

There are many ways to protect a brand. Ikea could have easily approached the site to add disclaimers, or offer to sponsor the site in exchange for removing advertising, or ask them to at least change the colors and fonts to be less Ikea like.

Not saying they (Ikea) were wrong, even the sites operator realized that, what we are saying, is don't be an asshole about it, especially since there are some projects on teh site that resulted in sales. At least for me, there are some products I would never have even considered (the Lack for example as I mentioned earlier) had it not been for hacks and alternative use options.

Now, I will not be shopping at Ikea if I can avoid it (I have a wife, avoidance might be an issue)

covered in adverts for other stores (2)

dominux (731134) | about 6 months ago | (#47247693)

I see a ton of adverts for beds and sofas and flat pack stuff from other furniture stores, I can totally see why IKEA told them to C&D. It seems IKEA have said they can turn off the adverts and carry on, which is very nice of them.
Nothing to see here, move along please.

Ikea can do a better job than this. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247741)

Trademark and name use aside. The people who read this site are going to be customers buying their stuff to make stuff. Ikea would be smart from a marketing point of view to work with them rather than to attack them with a C&D. This is a niche market for their products with people who are fans of Ikea products. Telling their fans to stop collaborating via this site is a losing deal for them. They could take the interest in their products and run with it and expand with them into creating more interest in their products. It might even mean they will find more products they can sell to the general population that where created by hackers. Who knows what might happen?

Why not pay him a dollar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247819)

Why not pay him a dollar plus whatever advertising revenue "Ikea" can rack up through the site, to create an IkeaHackers.net web site for them? On the same web address, with the same content. If he were their employee, presumably there's no trademark issue.

The could even include in the contract that the content of the website belongs to him - his payment is for the public presentation that is useful to them.

domain name taken? (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about 6 months ago | (#47247827)

is hackoverpricedswedishflatpackfurniture.com already taken?

IKEA could sponsor these folks ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247863)

C'mon IKEA ! I think you could resolve this more to the mutual benefit of all parties concerned by, after all every recipe on ikeahackers starts with buying an IKEA product. ikeahackers is obviously not adversarial, it's not ideasucks and even in the face of the take-down order they are being good-natured about it.
How about advising ikeahackers which bits explicitly should change to sufficiently avoid confusion? Clearly the site as is has too much cloned trademarks and that sort of thing, but it can't be that hard to make it clear it is Not an offical IKEA site.
IKEA should be supporting these creative folks, even if unofficially if they need to avoid any liabilities due to something in one of the hacked designs.

The problem is using IKEA as an adjective (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247987)

The main problem is not the use of IKEA in the domain name. The problem is using it as an adjective, e.g., "IKEA Hackers."

Legally safe alternatives:

www.hackers-of-ikea-products.net
www.hackers-of-ikea-furniture.net
www.hacking-ikea-products.net
etc....

Additionally, the site should stop using the IKEA logo (or continue to use if it granted permission), and should have a disclaimer at the top of the page reading: "This is an independent fan-created site that is neither sponsored nor endorsed by IKEA Systems B.V.

Disclaimer: IANAL

What's a C&D order? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47247995)

Ikea sent them a letter threatening legal action. It's not an order. Orders come from judges.

This is important.

"Letter" was just a sheet of wordless cartoons (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47248011)

I like to think that the C & D form you get from Ikea comes flat packed in a cardboard box and has basic illustrations of what happens to you if you don't comply.

Guys. Stop turning on Beta every other day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47248021)

Look, I get you're having issues, but please stop turning on Beta. Twice in the last two days you've decided to switch it on for me, which becomes obvious after I've loaded up several tabs. I can't use beta, and can't turn it off from the tabs I've loaded (doing so drops you to the front page). I just get fed up, close the window, and go to soylentnews (which sometimes is ahead, and sometimes behind on stories).

Please. In the name of what we've had, just stop. I turned off beta like 8 hours ago. I want it off for a reason. Practically everyone does.

In all fairness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47248055)

... using a trademark you don't own in your domain name and then serving ads is just asking for trouble. I'm surprised they didn't jump on it sooner.

flatpackhackers.com perhaps?

great job ikeahackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47248149)

Using IKEA's logo probably is a trademark violation.
    But look at all the free advertizing it got you.

Without using the logo, the name IkeaHackers seems descriptive and not confusing.
    Unless Ikea wants to start an IkeaHackers page, it might be trademark ok.

Hopefully once Ikea figures that out, they will let it stand.

Suggestion for a new name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47248183)

Butthead Furniture Maker Hackers

IKEA's name is the big deal (2)

clovis (4684) | about 6 months ago | (#47248193)

It may have more to do with IKEA's tax-avoidance corporate structure.
As near as I can tell, what you think of as the Swedish IKEA stores are owned by the non-profit corporations Ingka Holding and the Ingka Foundation.
They lease the IKEA trademarked name from a Dutch firm "Inter IKEA Systems". That's its only product: the IKEA trademarked name.
The Dutch firm is how the money is taken out, and the full corporate structure is kind of shadowy. I don't believe anyone outside the family knows how it's all put together.

My guess is that any threat to the trademarked name "IKEA" is a threat to their tax avoidance structure, so it's a big deal.

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