Trademark Talks: Let’s settle this face to face


It’s been a while since my last update on the trademark dispute with IKEA. After the call, there were several more and on one of those calls, I was asked whether I would like to come over to discuss the matter face-to-face. And at the same time, visit IKEA Sweden and the IKEA Concept Center in Delft, The Netherlands.

“Is the sky blue?”
“Is my mother a woman?”

Yes! Yes! I could hardly stop myself from squealing.

After a few weeks of deciding on dates and flight arrangements, my trip is confirmed.

On my arrival, I will be visiting Älmhult, the birthplace of IKEA. I have heard much about Älmhult and am excited to see what goes on behind the scenes. The next day, I will head towards Delft to visit the IKEA Concept Center which is essentially a hands-on environment to test the IKEA experience.

I believe the trademark discussions will happen in Delft.

They have not given me any framework or proposal on how we can go forward. From our conversations, it seems to lean towards exploration and “mapping out a solution together and then … the lawyers will have to find a way to make it work.” I am keeping my fingers crossed and am cautiously optimistic. I will do my best to negotiate the right solution for IKEAHackers.

If you are interested to track along with me, here is my itinerary:
18th August – Leaving Kuala Lumpur
19th August – Älmhult
20th August – Delft
21st – 30st August – Free and easy
31st Aug – Return to Kuala Lumpur

I will be posting periodic updates on IKEAHackers Facebook page as the trip progresses. Do join me on this trip.

After the two days with IKEA (and the heavy lifting hopefully done), I am taking time to roam The Netherlands (and Denmark, perhaps?) It’s a long way to travel from home and I am definitely not leaving without seeing more of this part of the world. My plans are not firmed up for this leg of the trip, so do let me know if there are any MUST GO places.

Lastly, if you happen to be in Älmhult or Delft and our paths cross, please come up and say “Hej!” I would love to meet you and thank you personally for your support.




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  1. So cool! Remember not to sign anything without consulting someone. Always ask to bring papers home / to the hotel for a read before signing.

  2. When you are in the netherlands don’t forget to visit delft city centre, leiden and Rotterdam. I think you’ll spend quite Some time if you are travelling from there to denmark (although cheap flights are available). It would be easier to go to belgium (bruges, Gent, antwerp) or germany (Düsseldorf for instance) by train. From delft I also recommend going to Scheveningen or to the dunes near Wassenaar. Oh and the Veluwe area is nice! Hope this helps 🙂

  3. I can’t underscore enough that if they are bringing legal reps to the talk, you should have some kind of legal representation there. It is in your best interest to keep a level playing field, even if you are a fan and they are the object of worship.

  4. Thank you for taking this on, and for fostering all this great creativity with great products. I hope that IKEA appreciates all the free R&D your readers post to your site. We sure appreciate all the great products they put out – as originally designed, and as re-imagined by the world.

    I am jealous of your trip! I’ve always wanted to see that corner of the world. Enjoy!

  5. Hi Jules, I live around the corner of Ikea Delft. If you need any advise on hotels, places to go etc I’m happy to help. I agree on the fact that you shouldn’t sign anything before having it checked by your lawyers. Also take into account under which law Ikea Delft is operating. Dutch law is completely different to Swedish law… Or your own law or the law in which the site is hosted physically. But after a good meeting you should also visit Amsterdam. The Dutch Railway, tram and bus systems will bring you almost everyware. Good luck to you and let me know if you need any help. Daphne

  6. I do hope they pay for the trip??!! 🙂

    May I recommend Amsterdam? It’s a gorgeous city and just 60 km further north of Delft. Amsterdam airport is a great hub for inexpensive flights to other capitals in Europe, i.e. Paris and/ or London. You could even make a round-trip: Amsterdam, Paris and London are all approx. one flying hour apart.

    From Amsterdam Station runs a train (Thalys) connecting different cities in that part of Europe:

    If visiting this area of Germany, I’d prefer Cologne over Düsseldorf. Cologne is older, larger, and more divers and easy-going. Last but not least, Cologne has two huge IKEA stores! 😉

    Wherever you go – enjoy! And good luck with IKEA!

  7. I hope that you can have some local legal support, if not in the room with you then later, and I’ll second, the don’t sign anything until you’ve had some time to read and think. Good luck!

  8. Are they paying? Even if they’re not, Ikea is being savvy. Hope you two can work things out. Good luck.

  9. Welcome to the Netherlands, with the terrible OV-chip card. OV = public transport. Good luck with everything and keep your domain to yourself.

  10. Wishing you luck. I hope IKEA listen to you fairly. Your site is great whereas I find their’s a truly stressful experience, they could learn a lot about creativity. Never under stood why they were hammering you for promoting their product – hope this is an olive branch.

  11. Lots of good advice from many people regarding possible representataion, but you can wait it out, politely demand to review things on your own, not signing on the spot, … .
    Two practical points I would like to raise: try to minimize jet lag by adjusting to Paris time beforehand. If you are not used to travel across time zones or irregular schedules, jet lag can be pretty rough to be productive for several days. One week is pretty short. Avoid trying to do the American thing of one day in Netherlands, France, UK, Germany, etc because you will spend too much time travelling and not enough time absorbing and enjoying. While I love Scandinavia, there’s plenty to see in the Netherlands, Belgium and surrounding countries for a trip. All depends if you travel by yourself, rent a car vs public transport, have pre-arranged lodging, … would be great if you could guest hop wiith some of your fans 🙂

  12. @Stella, August 7, 2014 at 3:59 am

    Shhhhhhh…. There is nothing wrong with the OV-chipcard. The use of it only results in frustration with people not wanting to adapt to modern age and stick to the 80’s. The OV-chipcard is actually quite convenient in use and I can tell as I use it on daily basis.

  13. Just remember Netherlands are well-known for having the most fiercest intellectual rights laws, it’s little wonder you’re having your negotiations over there 😮 Good luck!

  14. And Dennis, expecial for tourists it is a pain in the arse. Or do you send her an OV-chipcard, so she can step into a bus/tram/train without the problems of the coins and the saldo?

  15. Hi Jules,
    i hope everything went ok for you.
    Looking forward to hearing from you on your site.
    Thanks for all the things you’re doing (and going through).

  16. Hej Jules,

    Just in case, if you have some spare time come visit Eindhoven. It’s the main tech hub for the southern part of the Netherlands. Me and my hackerspace friends would love to show you around.

    We’re also hosting a hackathon this weekend, feel free to contact me if you need more information.

    Love what you’re doing!

  17. Hi Jules, I discovered your great site and its nice / smart content just few days ago and in a couple of hours also the fact about the IKEA will to stop your activity.
    I hope what’s happening with them will go in a nice way and you’ll find an agreement in order not to close this marvellous and inspirational place.
    Please keep us updated and good luck!

  18. Hi Jules, like Fabio, I just discovered this great site. I used the Melltorp to Sewing Deesk page to hack an antique Singer cabinet (not from Ikea), but today I showed it to my friend who is a huge Ikea customer with a handy husband. She just emailed me for a link to the page. So, Ikea will be selling them a Melltorp, I expect.

    I disagree with the folks who think it would be great for you to get a job at Ikea. Best outcome is if they let you keep doing what you’ve been doing and pay you a commission!

    Best of luck. (I guess it’s over now. Maybe I’ve missed the update.)

  19. Ikea would be crazy to try and shut down or harm this website or it’s archives in any way. This is free advertising for Ikea, with a devoted and active community of Ikea customers. That there is even an issue with the existence of this and similar websites is ridiculous.

  20. “I’m” a YouTube Channel with more than 102000 subscribers. My theme is “related to a Brand”, and instead of shutting me down, I ended with a call of their Agency, and offered a 36.000 EUR yearly contract by actually “sponsoring” me (secretly). Not ads, or banners. Just letting me keep my blog and youtube channel network, producing my content which at the end, it translates to more sales for them. The same principle as your professional -and humble at the same time-, blog.

    IKEA shooting you down in nowadays “online world”, should and WILL, become a social media shit-storm for them. They should offer you a cut and treat you well, give you IKEA-benefits, and even sponsorship giveaways to your blog readers.

    Your site gets more QUALITY traffic than their official website, which, is LAME and a pain in the ass to navigate/find stuff. They should kiss your ass. They have NO ONLINE PRESENCE, and they have the chance to benefit from you, NOT F*CK YOU with their legal corporation power.

    IKEA Marketing & Legal department: WELCOME TO THE 2015 INTERNET. SUPPORT ONLINE ENTREPRENEURS, DON’T HARM THEM. Idiots. You will even loose customers!

  21. Jules, i assume that things went well at your meeting and you atent allowed to share the details just yet. I went to my local IKEA today to pick out some items for an executive rental that I plan to operate. Well i saw a few things that would work but not much. I came here to get some IKEA Hack ideas and am disappointed with what they put you through. I understand that they had to send the letter and am glad that the realized their error and have you a nice trip. I hope that you took your lawyer along.

    You should be paid alot of money for what you do for them. Like $1,000,000 USD per year+. Don’t settle for chump change and don’t sell them your site. YOU have a BRAND to protect as well and it doesn’t only have to be about IKEA products since they are so ungrateful!


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