Monday, February 12, 2007

IHOP lapsed registrations require amendment to UFOC

Now would be a good time to check up on your trademark docketing procedure.

IHOP Corp. recently announced the following:

IHOP Corp. (NYSE: IHP) today disclosed that it has become aware of issues relating to the lapsing of certain IHOP federal trademark and service mark registrations on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As a consequence of the lapsing of these registrations, IHOP's Uniform Franchise Offering Circular ("UFOC") must be revised.


IHOP is in the process of taking the steps necessary to obtain new registrations for the affected trademarks and service marks. Additionally, IHOP has temporarily stopped offering franchises pending revisions to the UFOC and receipt of attendant state regulatory approvals. The Company anticipates that the corrective measures required to resume offering franchises in 45 states will be completed very shortly and within the next few weeks with respect to the five remaining states; however, there can be no assurance that all requisite regulatory approvals will be obtained within this time frame.

The Company has not yet determined the extent or financial impact of the corrective measures, but believes that any issues regarding the validity of its federal trademark and service mark registrations will not have a material impact on the business of IHOP Corp. or its franchisees.

That (temporarily suspending the offering of franchises) is a pretty serious consequence to lapsed filings.

Also, Reuters reported that the lapsed registrations caused IHOP to delay a planned refinancing of the company, which was to be used to pay down debt and buy back shares.

For the record, IHOP has 23 live applications or registrations {(ihop or "international house of pancakes")[on] and (live)[ld]} and 28 dead applications or registrations {(ihop or "international house of pancakes")[on] and (dead)[ld]}. [video explanation on how to run the searches] .

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