San Diego Comic-Con has filed a federal lawsuit against Salt Lake Comic Con, charging the Utah event is violating its trademark and is trying to capitalize on the California event's success by making people believe they are connected.
The Associated Press reported
that the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego on Thursday, claiming the Salt Lake City convention is using San Diego's trademark to promote its own conference.
"Defendants are using the COMIC-CON mark, or a confusingly similar mark, in connection with the sale of its products and services without (San Diego Comic-Com's) consent, and with knowledge of SDCC's rights in the COMIC-CON marks," part of the 16-page lawsuit stated, according to the Deseret News
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The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that San Diego Comic-Con, which started in 1970, draws 130,000 visitors annually and the lawsuit contends that the Salt Lake City event tries to make money off the "ingenuity and hard work" of the California event.
San Diego Comic-Con, in the lawsuit, claims several registered trademarks, including "Comic-Con," "Comic Con International," and "Anaheim Comic-Con," and also host events in Chicago, New York and Dallas, wrote the Union-Tribune.
Salt Lake Comic Con organizers declined to back away from the name, telling the AP they don't believe San Diego Comic-Con has a claim, pointing to numerous other event using "Comic Con" that are not associated with San Diego Comic-Com group.
"We're puzzled why Salt Lake Comic Con was apparently singled out amongst the hundreds of Comic Cons around the country and the world," Dan Farr, co-founder of Salt Lake Comic Con told the Salt Lake Tribune
. "We intend to vigorously defend ourselves from this frivolous action."
Bryan Brandenburg, another Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder, told the Tribune that he believed the lawsuit is baseless because the questions over Comic-Con and Comic Con has been already hashed out legally, adding that San Diego Comic-Con failed to trademark "Comic Con" in 1995.
"Furthermore, precedence for the mark 'Comic Con' was set when Denver Comic Con received a trademark for their convention (in November)," Brandenburg told the Tribune. "Nobody owns the words 'Comic Con'… and the United States Patent and Trademark Office has already ruled on this."
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