Ikea makes fan site remove adverts in rights row

IkeaHackers IkeaHackers has built a dedicated fan base during the past six years

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Swedish giant Ikea has made a fan site featuring ideas for customising the firm's furniture remove all adverts.

The founder of IkeaHackers.net said she had been issued with a "cease and desist" letter in March, in which Ikea had said the site's name had infringed upon its intellectual property rights.

An agreement was reached in which IkeaHackers could keep its domain, "without commercial elements".

An Ikea representative said other sites using its name "creates confusion".

Jules Yap, a blogger living in Malaysia who started IkeaHackers in 2006, wrote in a blogpost: "Needless to say, I am crushed.

"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 [cease and desist]?"

Ms Yap added that she had agreed to Ikea's demand to remove advertising because she did not have "deep enough pockets to fight a mammoth company in court".

Speaking to the BBC, an Ikea representative said: "We feel a great responsibility to our customers and that they always can trust Ikea... many people want to know what really is connected to Ikea - and what isnĀ“t. And we think that people should have that right.

"When other companies use the Ikea name for economic gain, it creates confusion and rights are lost."

Fans of the site, which Ms Yap says attracts about 180,000 visitors per week, expressed their outrage at the decision on social media sites.

Don Krypton posted on Google Plus: "This is just... I never would have thought Ikea would do this! You've created a real fan site for that company and they should be thankful."

Ms Yap told the BBC she had been "overwhelmed" by support from members of the IkeaHackers community.

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