IKEA Has Second Thoughts About Trying To Kill Off IKEAhackers

As we reported last weekend, in a deeply dunderheaded move IKEA tried to shut down mod site IKEAhackers, claiming the site was a trademark infringement and single-handedly failing to recognise that IKEAhackers promotes the sale of IKEA products. Now it seems the Swedish furniture giant is having second thoughts.

Picture: Getty Images

IKEAhackers founder Jules said in a blog post that she had been contacted by a representative of IKEA's corporate headquarters, and that the company is now looking for a new solution to the issue. One can only assume the bombardment of critical news stories pointing out how stupid the original legal move to reclaim the domain was may have had an impact here.

This doesn't mean the issue is resolved; that will depend on whether the two sides can reach an agreement. But it's definitely an improvement on the original cack-handed strategy by IKEA. In the meantime, check out our roundup of the most popular IKEA hacks.


Comments

    the company is now looking for a new solution to the issue.
    What "issue" is that exactly? IKEAHackers is basically providing them free advertising and helping them promote their brand worldwide. How is that an "issue" that needs to be solved? Idiots.

      What "issue" is that exactly?

      Trademark use without their permission. Particularly when the site owner profits from the use of the trademark.

        You can use a trademark, make money from it and it not be infringing on the trademark.

        Now, if they started to sell furniture like the real Ikea that would be infringing on the trademark.

          For IKEA, it's threefold protection:
          - protecting the trademark. IKEA may not necessarily want to be associated with certain advertisements that appear on a site called IKEAHackers. They may not want to be associated with the word Hackers. Rational? Maybe not. Legally permissable? Yes, because it's interpretable as IKEA permitting the existence of the site. It's not infringement - it's protection from potential infringement rather than seeking remittance, hence the C&D rather than a "we're suing you"

          - bit of IP protection about using the materials and name for unintended consequences (eg XXX product name isn't meant to be a table, because YYY product name already fulfils that space - it's IKEA's right to protect that space).

          - also a legal protection if people get hurt hacking IKEA products. Do they blame IKEA?

          While those second 2 aren't vocalised in this, I can bet that they're dot points on the legal team's documentation about this.

            None of those three points have anything to do with trademarks, patents, copyright, or any liability for Ikea.

            People are free to purchase their products, or not. Free to modify them, or not, Free to share such modifications or not.

            They are flexing their muscles without any actual legal basis for it.

          what?

          Fair use doctrine only covers non-profit use, satire and product reviews. Do you have any precedent where someone is using someone else's trademark without authorization and has legally profited from it?

        They're just using it like a noun, like Lego. They're not claiming to be IKEA or using it to further their advertising revenue, so it's pretty unfair to say it's an issue

        Seems to me that if IKEA advertised on the site that that might be a win win!

        Yup, the profit thing was what I first thought was an issue. The girl who runs the site initially complained that they wanted her to stop selling ads, which she indicated online that she wasn't willing to do, admitting that running the site was a full time job for her.

    If IKEA were truly smart they would actively promote the ikeahackers web site instore, online and in their catalogues. Then they should sponsor the website to ensure it keeps running.

      except when someone injures themselves from the "hack".

      Lets say someone builds a bunk bed from 2 single beds, the plans provided by Ikea. If that was to fail, they could find themselves in a legal battle with the injured party

    The risk is that if they promote a hack that fails and causes an injury, and news agencies report it, the trademark's reputation is damaged, even though it was not through any fault of their own.

      But if IKEA has no involvement in the site they can indemnify themselves.

    just change the site name to 'swedishflatpackhack'

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