It Begins: Some Comic Conventions Refusing To Fold After San Diego Comic-Con Gets Its Trademark Win

from the the-war dept

After following the saga of what seemed like a truly misguided lawsuit brought by the San Diego Comic-Con against the company putting on the Salt Lake ComiCon, the whole thing culminated in the SDCC getting a win in the courtroom. One of the reasons this verdict threw many, including this writer, for a loop is that the defendant in the case made the argument that the SDCC had allowed the term “comic con” to become generic, an argument buttressed by the reality of there being roughly a zillion comic conventions using the term across America. Despite the SLCC’s public discussions about appealing the decision and the fact that proceedings are already underway to cancel the SDCC’s trademark entirely, much of the media speculation centered around what those zillion other conventions would do in reaction to the verdict.

It was a question that seemingly made sense, but the actual reaction by at least some conventions should have been plainly predictable. And, indeed, now there are some conventions willing to come out and publicly say they aren’t going to change a damned thing based on this one verdict.

Yakima’s Central City Comic Con will hold off on a name change after one of the nation’s largest comic conventions won a trademark lawsuit. Yakima’s comic convention started in 2015, and is one of more than 100 conventions that uses “Comic Con” in their names.

“I don’t know how you can trademark two words that are common,” said Jamie Burns, Central City Comic Con events coordinator.

She said Yakima’s convention organizers are taking a wait-and-see attitude, watching to see whether the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle or Portland’s Rose City Comic Con change their names in response.

Rose City, of course, wouldn’t need to change its name as it somewhat infamously and more conveniently decided to partner with the San Diego Comic-Con in the middle of the whole trademark trial, but the larger point remains. The war was not the trademark trial. That was merely the opening battle. To win this war, that the SDCC decided to start for no conceivable reason, it will need to pepper the country with lawsuits against a hundred or so comic conventions, hopefully winning more than it loses and hopefully getting more than $20k a pop, which is what it earned from the three-year campaign against SLCC. All the while, mind you, it must also hope its “comic-con” trademark isn’t suddenly cancelled out from underneath it by a USPTO that might finally realize the term is both generic and descriptive.

That’s quite a hill to climb and must look more like Waterloo than Normandy.

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Companies: central city comic con, san diego comic con

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