San Diego Comic-Con Fighting With Salt Lake City Comic Con Over Trademark
from the comical dept
Comic-cons are awesome. They occur all over the country and they're literally the best place to people watch on the entire planet. You should know this. What you probably don't know is that "Comic-Con" is a trademarked term used by the famous San Diego convention, arguably the most successful of its kind. You likely don't know this because, like any other sane comics enthusiast, comic-con has become a generic term meaning a comics convention. It isn't associated with any particular company or brand any longer. It's generic.
Which is what might make it surprising to learn that the San Diego Comic-Con is suddenly going after the Salt Lake City Comic Con over trademark infringement. The cease and desist letter the San Diego convention sent out makes hysterical claims.
"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 SDCC and its Comic-Con convention," the letter from attorneys for San Diego Comic-Con wrote in the letter sent Friday. "In fact, we are aware of multiple instances where persons have incorrectly believed that the Salt Lake Comic Con convention was an SDCC event."Uh huh. I can remember attending a comics convention in Chicago recently and thinking, "Holy shit, I can't believe all these guys from San Diego came out here to run this convention." Because they didn't, obviously, and it takes a special kind of silly to think that anyone using the shortened version of the term "comics convention" must be the same folks from California. The term has become diluted on its own, certainly, but also due to the San Diego convention's inaction when it comes to all the other comic-cons out there. The Salt Lake City convention included this in its response.
The 13-page response filed Monday in Southern California's U.S. District Court denied the bulk of San Diego's claims, including that its name violates the trademark the West Coast convention holds on the title "comic-con," with a hyphen. The non-exhaustive list of conventions includes Baltimore Comic Con in Maryland, Pittsburg Comicon in Pennsylvania, and Rose City Comic Con in Oregon, all of which remain uncontested by the flagship convention in San Diego.Rendering this all really silly is that the San Diego convention is both insanely successful and is also certainly not threatened by other conventions put on in other cities. On the off chance that they can find someone who thinks that all "comic-cons" are run by the SDCC, so what? They've already failed to protect their mark, which was eventually going to become generic, and I'm pretty sure folks in Salt Lake City going to the convention aren't taking anything away from the SDCC. So what's the point of all this again?
"(San Diego Comic-Con) has allowed competitors and consumers to use the words 'comic con' or 'comic-con' as the generic name for comic conventions," the filing states. "The general public understands the words 'comic con' or 'comic-con' to refer generally to a comic convention and does not associate these words with any particular source of such conventions."