Co.Design

Ikea Rethinks Its Legal War On Fan Site

After a wave of bad press, it appears Ikea has come around to Ikeahackers.net.

Earlier this week, the unofficial Ikea fan site Ikeahackers.net wrote an open letter to its readership, revealing that Ikea had sent them a Cease and Desist letter for violating the Ikea trademark. According to the letter, Ikea demanded that the site would either have to remove ads or move to a new URL, but it appeared that the site could live on otherwise unchanged. Bad press ensued, and now, it appears that Ikea may be backtracking on their demands.

In a new letter on the site, owner/operator Jules Yap shared the following:

So, yesterday evening I received an email from Anders of Inter Ikea Systems BV asking me to get in touch. I did and he told me he was having lunch! (So good to talk to a human who eats!) Later he called back to express that Ikea would like to dialogue with me to find a new way forward. What does that mean? I don’t know yet. But I am hopeful, though my guard is still up. From our conversation, I do not have to make any changes to Ikeahackers (including the ads) till we settle on an agreement.

As we noted in our earlier article on the matter, whether or not Ikea had the legal right, it made little sense for Ikea to release their lawyers on Ikeahackers. The site represents some of the brand's most ardent supporters. And if Ikeahackers didn't exist, no doubt, some marketing guru inside Ikea would be trying to build something a lot like it.

We have reached out to Ikea and Ikeahackers but have not heard from either party.

Read more here.

(Hat tip: Gizmodo)

[Image: Ikea via FotograFFF / Shutterstock]

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5 Comments

  • info

    I own a furniture assembly business (furnitureassemblyservice.com) and received one of their warm letters to stop posting on my adds stating "IKEA furniture Assembly" when assembly of "IKEA" is the focus of my business. I yielded and it that is fine. Others still use that marketing.

    I have been on IKEAHACKERS.com many times and I think that is great that people come up with great things with IKEA products. They also recently went after a company IKDO (IKEA KITCHEN DESIGN ONLINE - not affiliated with IKEA and that was pretty obvious misuse of their trademark).

    However, I would think IKEA would have more issue with how people used the products that are not sanctioned or advocated by them. Their products are generally designed to be built one way and people ask me to replicate some of these items (mostly using Pax Wardrobe Sliding doors for room dividers). Not something I want to do because of liability. Anyway, best of Luck IKEA Hackers and I hope to see how things pan out!

  • Be sure to get (everything) in writing when dealing with any corporation, especially IKEA. I wouldn't put it past them to try and take over your site themselves or tell you how you should be doing it their way. Good luck.

  • Ikea came after us too (www.thefurnishapp.com) but after discussing it with Ikea's legal team, they granted us permission to use their products. Definitely unsettling when they send their attack dogs after you but keep a cool head and they should turn over. Huge fans of IkeaHackers...Good luck Jules!