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.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 10:00pm

    Makes me want to start a business offering economical transport and setup for vendors and artists between conventions and their usual operations. And I shall give unto it a name: ComiCon MovingHelp.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 4 Jan 2018 @ 11:12pm

    ...what seemed like a truly misguided...

    I believe the word you're looking for is "comical."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    oliver, 4 Jan 2018 @ 11:24pm

    This call for a truly epic and decisive "punching back twice as hard" approach against that stupid trademark.
    Hit those assholes of the SDCC with lot's of revocation requests at the PTO.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 3:31am

    SDCC goers should vote with their wallets and go to the closest comic con instead of SD. I would do it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 6:56am

    These are comic-cons - groups of people organized around their fanship of comics. What do comics have in abundance? Stories about plucky underdog heroes banding together to stand up against the big baddie.
    Who among them *wouldn't* love the chance to, if they're able to, take on the heroes' role in refusing to bow down to big bully SDCC?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    musterion (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:04am

    Hollywood Money

    This whole brouhaha shows he corrupting influence of Hollywood money, and I suggest that a certain company known for it vigorous legal team and control freak attitude that now owns the biggest movie franchises is probably the biggest corruptor in the whole deal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:53am

    Don't forget the international market

    One of my friends recently posted some photos from the Tokyo ComicCon. Will SDCC be going after the international comic cons also? After all, countries like Japan have signed treaties to honor US copyrights, so there's no reason not to go after every single convention company.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:53am

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

    That's quite a clank as the monkey wrench
    is thrown and must look more like gibberish
    than language.

    I wish you wouldn't drink and "write".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 10:03am

      Re: "That's quite a hill to climb and must look more like Waterloo than Normandy."

      You've misdiagnosed the problem. It's not Tim's grammar, it's pebkac.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        orbitalinsertion (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 11:52am

        Re: Re: "That's quite a hill to climb and must look more like Waterloo than Normandy."

        That seems to be a more likely diagnosis. Someone's always hittin' the syrup of pebkac.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: "That's quite a hill to climb and must look more like Waterloo than Normandy."

          This pebkac in particular has remained unfixed for almost a decade, now.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.