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Comments about ‘San Diego Comic-Con strikes back: Lawsuit filed against growing S.L. convention’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 8 2014 8:45 p.m. MDT

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Al Thepal
Salt Lake City, UT

I don't see how San Diego Comic-Con has a leg to stand on in this lawsuit. They have the trademark for "Comic-Con" but gave up the bid for "Comic Con". Salt Lake uses "Comic Con", which is not one of the trade marks held by the San Diego convention. I am no lawyer, but this seems like a pretty simple case to me.

My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

Utah is the fraud capital of the US and the Utah chapter organization are basing shier conventions, advertising, and plan on the same pattern as the San Diego company. Utah is a copy cat thief trying to imply they are indeed sanctioned by and for the California convention.

I think Utah is the fraud and I would vote them criminals trying to steal ineluctable property from the original organization who trade marked their idea and name.

Foxtrot
Mountain View, CA

I love how this article is how the big bad San Diego Comic-Con is attacking the tiny little helpless Comic con. But my personal (not legal) is that SLC's version is utilizing a trademark by the San Diego version and gaining benefit from it. I am betting that a court finds it the same way. The fundamental difference between with and without a hyphen is irrelevant.

The Billboards advertising SLC's Comic Con has almost NO wordings on it except Comic con. I guess I feel it is like putting a label on a soda can called Coca Cola. No hyphen of course and saying it was different.

SLC is going to lose. You copied something well known, got great economic benefit.

2in1year
Pleasant Grove, UT

Tell me why does this really matter in the long scheme of things? There are children being murdered in Iraq right now. Couldn't these people save their attorney fees and look for something useful to spend energy on?

sammyg
Springville, UT

I rather doubt I'd have snowball's chance in you know where if I came out with a soft drink named...

Coak

Hyphen, space or whatever, a reasonable person cannot distinguish the difference between the two comic conventions.

Frankly, I'm surprised that San Diego Comic-Con did not prevail against the first copy-cat.

The only winners will be the attorneys.

Mary E Petty
Sandy, UT

Interesting article about Trademarks for non-lawyer.
"comic con" is a generic term used in commerce, specific to an industry and business activity of commercial participants, recognized by all (industry, practitioners, buyers, sellers, vendors , public, etc.)
If I understand DN article correctly, one practitioner has trademarked their name using the words of this generic term utilizing punctuation (hyphen) to create a brand name; and then, it appears that they have not stopped any other users of this generic term, no matter the format, except for suing a rival.
As I understand trademark law, to have trademark status and maintain it, you must show evidence you have exclusive rights to the trademark, that you are the only one using it and you have legally stopped all others from using your trademarked name. Trademarking common terms used in commerce (grocery store, auto sales, tire rotation, etc) would create exclusive rights for one practitioner alone. I don't believe you can do this with US trademark law.
Clearly, you can have more than one use of "comic con" or "auto sales" as evidenced by the huge industry and business activity built around these terms
(See this online for yourself.)

DCHew
Bounti, UT

This will be interesting. I suspect that many of the people attending the SD convention will skip SD next year and come to Utah because, nobody likes being told what to do, especially super heros and cartoon characters.

Dan Taylor
Keyser, WV

I wonder if the California Comic Con had never been invented, if there would have been one called comic con in Salt Lake. I doubt it very seriously. This sure smells like somebody is riding someone elses wave. It will be interesting to hear the verdict on this one. At this point, I would lean toward California winning, at least I think that would be the right decision. Hyphen or not! That is just playing games if that is SLC's whole defense and I doubt it very much if a court will see it any other way. Well see though.

estreetshuffle
Window Rock, AZ

add an 's" to comic; that should fix it.

netsrik
Draper, UT

There are a lot of comic cons around the world. Some MIGHT be affiliated with San Diego, but not all of them are. Boston Comic Con, Austin Comic Con, New York Comic Con, Amazing Houston Comic Con are just a few in the US that I just Googled. There are also cons in the UK, Canada, India among others around the world that use the term "Comic Con" in their names. Is San Diego going to sue all of them? I really don't think San Diego has a prayer of winning. They're just jealous of how big Salt Lake's con got in its first year.

ReasonableDoubt
Syracuse, UT

This should be settled out of court. Going immediately to the court system reflects inflexibility by both parties. Yes, Salt Lake Comic Con got singled out, because they started strongly enough to eventually equal or overtake SD CC. If there is brand confusion on the part of fans, then SL CC needs to modify their name somehow. If there is no brand confusion and any name would work for SL CC, then SD CC needs to face the fact that name similarity is not what is driving this business. So which is the case? I think the answer is obvious, there were MORE fans at the SL event that did NOT use the comic con name. The parties should meet somewhere in the middle and settle this. SD CC is facing an issue that most innovators have to face at some point, the emergence of competitors who may out-compete you. Lawsuits can't fix that for SDCC, they have to continue to innovate to stay ahead of the pack.

gittalopctbi
Glendale, AZ

Those of you siding with San Diego, and particularly My2Cents who is calling the SLC Comic Con a fraud and copy cat are really ignoring some basic facts. First "comic con" and any variant is an abbreviation of "comic convention" which is a fan convention. SLC is not the only one to do a comic convention. If you do an Internet search, you come up with several, some of which are: New York Comic Con, Emerald City Comicon, Denver Comic Con, Ocala Comic Con, Central Coast Comic Con, Indiana Comic Con, Minneapolis Comic Con, Cincinnati Comic Con, Niagra Falls Comic Con, Capitol City Comic Con, Boston Comic Con, etc. etc. etc. That's only counting the ones in the US and not ones in Canada, India, UAE, UK, and Romania. So you are saying that San Diego Comic-Con (hyphenated) has a chance in court when all of these plus others use "Comic Con?" They are just jealous of SLC, plain and simple.

To me, them trying to sue for use of "comic con" would be like the largest PGA tournaments suing another tournament for the use of the term "Open" in their title. Right, that would be ridiculous.

mrjj69
bountiful, UT

what a waste of court time and tax money.

J-TX
Allen, TX

@My2Cents;

You may want to look up big words before you use them. "ineluctable" means "unavoidable".

Perhaps you meant to say they were trying to steal "intellectual property", in which case: WOW.

Fanatico
RIVERTON, UT

Winning! Salt Lake Comic Con is getting awesome national and international marketing from this lawsuit! Stick with the fight, because you are going to win and get great exposure along the way! Google Salt Lake Comic Con and search news to see all of the widespread media attention Salt Lake Comic Con is getting from this! There are hundreds of Comic Con's across the country... Salt Lake Comic Con is not going to lose. Google the article from Forbes about this since I can't post a link: salt lake comic con facing down the 800 pound gorilla

Uncle_Fester
Niskayuna, NY

I'm not sure that there is a trademark infringement. For one thing nobody is going to confuse the two events as they are held 750 miles apart and are clearly labeled San Diego and Salt Lake City respectively. It is unlikely in the extreme that anyone who intended to go to the San Diego event is going to book a flight to Salt Lake City. What this is about is an attempt to own the monkier, "comic con" which is a description out there in general usage these days and if it trademarked that should never have been permitted, it's absurd.

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