“Comic-Con” Reserved for San Diego

The United States court system has upheld Comic-Con International‘s contention that it holds a trademark on the term ‘Comic-Con”.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

San Diego Comic Convention was the plaintiff taking on Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg, who ran the Salt Lake Comic Con. At a trial held last winter, San Diego prevailed on its contention that it held valid rights and that Salt Lake was infringing its trademarks. The jury didn’t find willfulness, however, and only punished Salt Lake to the tune of $20,000 in corrective advertising.

Salt Lake asked U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia to put aside the ruling and order a new trial.

Instead, in a series of orders issued late Thursday, Battaglia has not only upheld the jury’s verdict and issued an injunction, but ordered the defendants to pay almost $4 million in attorneys’ fees and costs. The decision comes just a week before the Salt Lake convention was about to get underway. Thanks to this court case, it’s already been rebranded the FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention.

Battaglia, in his order on an injunction, has enjoined Salt Lake from “Comic Con” and “Comic-Con” and any phonetic equivalents (i.e. ComiKon). Additionally, Farr and Brandenburg can’t operate any social media site that incorporates the trademark, nor can they even advertise how the festival they run was “formerly known as Salt Lake Comic Con.”

“Comic Convention” remains in public domain.

Read The Hollywood Reporter story.


From Comics Beat:

In a separate motion, the court also upheld San Diego’s claim on the trademark and ruled that DFP could not use ANY variation of Comic Con – like Comic Kon – or use their saltlakecomiccon.com url. However they don’t have to destroy all their “comic con” merchandise in case they want to keep it on the desk as a fond reminder of good times.

For those who enjoy reading the full court rulings, Heidi at Comics Beat provides it all.