IKEA is best known for their affordable, innovative furniture and household products, but there are quite a few people who enjoy their products for another reason: taking an IKEA piece and putting their own unique spin on it. IKEAhackers.net has been offering “hack” tips to the do-it-yourselfer for more than eight years.
Operator of IKEAhackers, Jules Yap, recently posted a statement detailing she received a cease-and-desist letter from IKEA’s lawyers, claiming her site was infringing on the retailer’s intellectual property. They also demanded she turn over her URL to the company or face legal action. After much discussion between their agent and Yap’s lawyer, she will be allowed to keep the domain name with one huge condition: it must remain non-commercial. This means Yap will no longer be able to benefit from her eight-year-old creation.
Her statement hints that she agreed to this only because it would cost too much money to fight them and she had worked hard at building a community and she did not want to lose that connection.
“I think they could have handled it better.”
Yap also states, “I don’t have an issue with them protecting their trademark but I think they could have handled it better. I am a person, not a corporation; a blogger who obviously is on their side. Could they not have talked to me like normal people do without issuing a C&D?” I wonder the same thing. Starting June 23, there will be no more advertising allowed, while IKEA continues to benefit from her advertising.
IKEA has missed a good opportunity to promote their products in a more positive manner; after all, what is wrong with a little ingenuity?
In order to “hack” an IKEA piece, the piece must be purchased, so they are still profiting. Why dissuade customers from putting their own unique spin on IKEA? Perhaps it would have been a better business strategy to ask Yap to link back to their products; this way IKEA is gaining traffic and making money, while allowing Yap to do the same.