Ikeahackers — a venerable fan-site that competed with Ikea's newly launched, empty "online community" — were previously threatened by Ikea and looked to face extinction.
Now there's some hope that the company may be wising up to the Streisand Effect and averting a major self-inflicted wound from targeting its own biggest fans.
Before you apologize for Ikea because "they have to defend their trademark or lose it," keep in mind that genericization of an active trademark nearly never happens in modern times, even when the mark is also used generically by the public. And what's more, even if you think that the minute risk is something Ikea should have addressed, remember that they get exactly the same protection from genericization by granting permission to Ikeahackers as they would from threatening them. The only reason to threaten your fans is because your business has a sociopathic personality, not because the law or fiduciary duty demand it.
And it could not have happened without your support. Every email, twit, comment and message that you have sent in support of IKEAhackers has led to this moment for us – that it is possible for fans to cause a ginormous corporation to rethink its actions. THANK YOU! I am very grateful, moved and humbled by your outstanding support over the last few days. I love you guys to bits.
*Insert: Jules does happy dance!!*
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.
Inter IKEA Systems BV called me!
(Thanks, Mr Eppy!)