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San Deigo Comic-Con sends cease-and-desist letter to Salt Lake Comic Con

From the Washington Post:

Organizers of two of the biggest comic-book conventions in the country are clashing over their names.

A lawyer for San Diego Comic-Con has issued a cease-and-desist letter to organizers of Utah’s Salt Lake Comic Con demanding them to drop “Comic Con” from the name.

“Attendees, exhibitors and fans seeing use of ‘Comic Con’ in connection with your convention will incorrectly assume that your convention is in some way affiliated with (the San Diego convention),” reads the letter dated Friday.

Two key points to understanding this story: Salt Lake Comic Con used a car to drive around San Diego promoting their Comic Con which probably upset the San Diego organizers with fears of attendees associating the two events as related. That said, SDCC has purportedly tried to trademark “Comic Con” but failed. “Comic-Con” is their trademark, “Comic Con” is generic and can be used freely. A quick scan through the list of comic conventions scheduled this year show a liberal use of the term “comic con” with the Baltimore Comic-Con using the hyphenated term.

  • Baltimore Comic-Con
  • Central Coast Comic Con
  • Rose City Comic Con
  • New York Comic Con
  • Lethbridge Comic Con
  • Santa Fe Comic Con
  • Ohio Comic Con
  • Rhode Island Comic Con
  • Brasil Comic Con

San Diego and Salt Lake City are the first and third largest comic conventions in the US. The second Salt Lake convention is schedule for Sept 4-6.

Community Comments

#1 Frank M Hansen
July/28/2014
@ 9:15 pm

I guess that means I need to re-think my Comic Con BBQ next weekend.

#2 Tom Richmond
July/30/2014
@ 6:53 am

You can’t pick and choose who you go after with respect to trademark, so even if they were using the trademarked version with the hypen they’d need to serve Baltimore with same unless they have an agreement in place. If “Comic-Con” with the hypen is trademarked then “Comic Con” is not, especially if the trademark people refused to grant them the trademark on the non-hypenated version. Not sure what SDCC is trying to accomplish.

#3 Joseph Rodriguez
July/30/2014
@ 8:49 am

It’s like trying to trademark “hot dogs”.

#4 John Lotshaw
July/30/2014
@ 11:16 am

I think SDCC is going to have a hard time defending this one. Yes, it’s their duty to challenge anyone using the mark, but they should have done this years ago. I think the defense is going to say that they abandoned the trademark when they didn’t challenge X, Y and Z. And the court will go with that.

Trademarks must be defended, and on a timely basis.

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