IKEA Is Forcing IKEAhackers To Change Its Name

What absolute clots. IKEA has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the operator of Lifehacker favourite IKEAhackers, demanding that the site give up the IKEAhackers name and hand over its domain name.

Site founder Jules explains what happened in a post on IKEAhackers:

Some months ago I received a Cease and Desist (C&D) letter from the agent of Inter IKEA Systems B.V., citing that my site IKEAhackers.net has infringed upon its intellectual property rights. In that letter they asked that I agree to voluntarily transfer the domain name IKEAhackers.net to them, failing which they reserve the right to take any legal action it deems necessary against me. Long story short, after much negotiation between their agent and my lawyer, I am allowed to keep the domain name IKEAhackers.net only on the condition that it is non-commercial, meaning no advertising whatsoever.

This is such an utterly brain-dead move by IKEA it's hard to fathom. IKEAhackers encourages people to use and enjoy IKEA products — I know I've made purchases based entirely on hacks suggested by the site. In other words, it's good for business. Trying to shut it down has the opposite effect — it makes IKEA look like a bunch of greedy, grasping accountants who don't deserve a cent.

Big corporations have a sorry track record with this kind of short-sighted behaviour. Back in 2011, Apple forced Australia site iTunes On Sale to change its name to Gift Cards On Sale. The usual argument is that companies have to protect their trademarks. The reality is that the brand damage done by this kind of Streisand effect move is potentially greater than any risk of dilution.

So what happens now? IKEAhackers founder Jules has retained the domain name, but only if it doesn't feature advertising — something that's not practical for continuing to run the site given the associated hosting costs. So the site will eventually be moving to a new domain and name (which won't mention IKEA at all, obviously). Jules asks that anyone who has enjoyed the site signs up for its mailing list so they can be notified when the new version goes up. We'll certainly be checking it out.


Comments

    Norwegian Wood - choppers?
    Or does that violate Beatles copyright?

    Probably the ridiculously inflated prices they charge Australian consumers that allows them to fund pointless litigation

    Getting rid of IKEAhackers is a backwards step in marketing. Their website helps promote the purchase of IKEA products.

    Although, IKEA could have wanted to utilise IKEAhackers for their own marketing purposes by recreating it in a way that would push specific products onto consumers. They should have just hired Jules and his website as a part of their marketing, win win situation.

      Jules is a female, FYI.

        Strictly speaking, Jules Yap is a pseudonym, so he/she could be either gender.

          But, she, is, actually, a, woman.

    This like a Football team forcing a Fan Site to change its name. I would you spell STUPID in Swedish, maybe Stoopud?

    Protecting ones IP is one thing, but slapping a guy/fanbase/customers in the face for supporting your company more than any other non-employee is totally braindead. The guy only got ad revenue out of it, the rest was all IKEA's gain.
    Talk about suddenly become even more uncool than Abba. I won't shop there again.

    Hackers for the most part does have negative connotations for those without any IT savvy. To have IKEA's name mentioned with the word Hackers probably would affect them negatively with any mums and dads that saw it.

    Just change the name to something like ikeyahacker.net or swedishDIYhackers.net

    I can kind of see IKEA's point of view. He was taking their IP and mixing it around to create other things. Yes it sparks more interest in IKEA but it is still their IP and they are already doing well. He's profiting from messing with their IP and getting people to visit and click or view his ads. I'd do the same thing. Why they really care though is a bit weird.

      She isn't infringing on their IP. She allows people to post photos (usually with instructions) of the IKEA further that they PURCHASED from IKEA and then subsequently modified.

      People are free to do as they please with whatever goods they have purchased as there are no trademark violations, there are no copyright violations, nothing, ziltch, nada, nothing.

        Yeah I agree with dre_ It is a marketers dream: no money input, increased sales, and their true IP (their genuine products etc) is protected. Makes no sense except to exercise their corporate brawn, resulting in them cutting off their (hacked) nose to spite their face.

        Last edited 16/06/14 2:17 pm

        This is the kind of viral, uncontrolled advertising that most campaigns attempt to invent and have dreams about. Benefiting from an individuals hard work that has cost little and yet still generated revenue for the primary company.

        I don't understand why IKEA wouldn't embrace the concept and set up a 'design' community like app developers already have? "Here's the core bits, go create, but we get to veto if it's poor / dangerous."

        Can't see Coles / Woolies issuing C & D notices on a website that posts pictures and instructions that describe the combining of individual items into aggregations that become edible and delicious creations......

    Why not start a change.org petition to show Ikea how much popular support you have? I for one would certainly sign and share it!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now