SLCC/FanX Gets A Stay On $4 Million In Legal Fees For SDCC Pending Appeal

from the by-a-thread dept

The whole saga of the trademark dispute between the famous San Diego Comic-Con comics convention and the smaller Salt Lake Comic Con has been a long and stupid one. Despite everyone with a working brain knowing that the term "comic-con" is both generic and descriptive, SDCC has a trademark on the term that it managed to wield like a legal sword attempting to slay SLCC. While a jury trial returned only a $20k judgement, the court then awarded $4 million in legal fees in favor of SDCC, arguing that SLCC's legal team attempted to jam up the trial process and timeline with its tactics. After all of this, SLCC changed its name to FanX, a whole bunch of other conventions proactively changed their own names, and FanX promised to appeal everything.

But it was an open question if SLCC/FanX would survive long enough for the appeal to take place. A $4 million dollar payout to SDCC, according to SLCC, would simply have crippled it and put it out of business altogether. This was the argument made to the appeals court, in which SLCC/FanX asked for a stay on the payments pending the appeal process. Fortunately, the court agreed to delay the attorney's fees payments.

With the judgment set to come due Oct. 22, FanX organizers sought a stay from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week, arguing paying the bill in full now would "destroy" the business, hurt Utah's economy and prevent them from continuing with their appeal.

However, organizers argued that if they were allowed to wait to pay, FanX would be able to continue operating and, if they ultimately lose their appeal, they could pay the judgment in full.

In FanX wins the appeal, the judgment could be invalidated.

And not just that, but FanX is also seeking to have the entire verdict that resulted in this award appealed as well, arguing that its lawyers were prevented from making sound arguments that "comic-con" is a generic term, which it absolutely is.

But two things should be immediately obvious. First, this stay is perfectly just. A legal fees award that would cripple a party from defending itself on appeal is the sort of thing that seems purely outside the realm of how the legal process is supposed to work. The second is that this attorney's fees award is absolutely just as bonkers as I claimed it was when it was announced. To have that kind of number in fees awarded attached to a judgement that was in the five figures breaks all barriers of simple common sense.

At least this way, we'll get to see FanX take this to appeal.


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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 7:46pm

    But we have to remind the little people big corporations are the only ones who can benefit from IP and the legal system. That even if the mark never should have been issued daring to challenge your betters will result in the courts making sure you cease to exist after ignoring common sense & evidence unflattering to the case.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Godfrey Daniel, 18 Oct 2018 @ 7:55pm

    YUP, JAMMED "up the trial process and timeline with its tactics"

    Wasn't any "attempt" that deserves further consideration. -- And are STILL doing so! They COULD have worked out a schedule with plaintiffs IF delay were their actual goal.

    BUT actually they're trying one more "Hail Vader" effort, which I expect will also FLOP. -- It's standard for courts to give every benefit to both sides, doesn't have ANY significance for how likely.

    SLCC had years of opportunity to cave in and beg "let us off light". But they decided on the Masnick / Google method of trying to claim an absolute "right" -- when it DOES NOT MATTER. All they had to do was pile in their '65 VW bus and drive down to Diego, then schmooze and flatter. I bet SD would have gone for big label: "trademark used by kind permission". It'd have cost SL all the effort of adding a line of text in their printing / HTML.

    But nerds and masnicks don't compromise on "principles"! They hit the peak of their tiny outrage, dug in for a death match, and DESERVE to be out 4 million.

    And others of the species keep running pieces like this forever, still claiming they're "right" long after the jury is back.

    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, 18 Oct 2018 @ 8:06pm

      Re: YUP, JAMMED "up the trial process and timeline with its tactics"

      Why you so mad bro?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2018 @ 8:45pm

        Re: Re:member when you left bro

        Because he knows he lied about leaving forever.

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 8:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:member when you left bro

          Well, technically he lies about *everything* but I get your point.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2018 @ 5:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:member when you left bro

            At this point I'm pretty sure that blue boy allows his own personal worldview to be entirely dictated by Mike Masnick. He's got such a hard-on for hating Masnick that anything Masnick says must be false.

            I'm fairly certain that if Masnick were to write an article praising the RIAA and MPAA for their glorious service in defending the rights of creators, blue boy would either have an aneurysm and die from shock, or rabidly attack the RIAA and MPAA as Google conspirators and call out Masnick for being a shill.

            There's a serious lack of independent thought in each and every one of this guy's posts that points to his worldview being hard-locked to "opposite of Masnick."

            Very sad to see someone let themselves be dependent that way.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 8:55pm

      Re:

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2018 @ 9:12pm

      Re: YUP, JAMMED "up the trial process and timeline with its tactics"

      ::slams Masnick as tool of big business like Google::

      ::slams SLCC for not sucking big business SDCC's dick hard enough::

      Which is it? Is Google the only big bad corporation? Can you just post the talking points they provide you because you're not communicating them clearly.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 9:49pm

      I’d rebut your bullshit, honey, but you ain’t even worth the effort any more.

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

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 8:41pm

    It's one of the hallmarks of a vexatious plaintiff to projectingly accuse a defendent simply seeking for justice to prevail of drawing out the lawsuit process.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 8:46pm

      Re:

      If they really cared so much about not having a long lawsuit, then perhaps don't start the scam in the first place?

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 8:46pm

      Re:

      In a couple defamation cases I read about the plaintiff(s) claimed that the defendents were "inflating the docket making unnecessaty filings" for nothing more than merely filing the proper and necessary responses to motions initiated by the plaintiff.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 8:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Now that takes some serious chutzpah.

        'My filings are justified and necessary, but their insistence in responding to them rather than just letting me get my way is unnecessary and a waste of the court's time.'

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 9:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well he's an armchair-diagnosed narcissistic sociopath, who has expressed his belief that his victims simply defending themselves is a personal attack against him.
          According to him, his victims should never have hired lawyers, brought evidence, responded to his frivolous motions, or objected to his filings filled with irrelevant material amd unnecessary personal information.
          Instead, they should have, to the twisted mind, rolled over and declared "yup, we did everything this guy says we did."

          Or, by the way he goes out of his way to avoid the procedures of proper service he claims to abide by (and likewise dodges service himself) they shouldn't even be showing up, instead just letting the court pass default judgment.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 9:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            By armchair diagnosis do you mean by you, or did they actually diagnose themself that way? Given your description of their actions I can't say I'd be surprised by either.

            In any case sounds like an absolutely charming individual who desperately needs a good benchslap by a judge with a reminder that the legal system is not a tool to be used to defend what sounds like their fragile ego.

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

            • icon
              Toom1275 (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 9:53pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Armchair diagnosis as in, nobody pried into his private medical history (something he didn't reciprocate), but his public behavior made it perfectly clear to readers. It's been a while, but I had found that using some "narcissistic sociopath traits checklist" I found, he ticked even more boxes than Trump. On a side note, one of his friends Ken "Popehat" White described as a "deranged cyberstalker."

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 18 Oct 2018 @ 8:51pm

    Congrats for... not choosing the exact wrong option?

    On the one hand it's nice that they won't be driven under before they can appeal, however congratulating the court for getting that right seems like congratulating someone for deciding that food is good and air is kinda nifty.

    Withholding penalties until after appeals have been made and lost seems like basic sense, as otherwise the appeals process merely allows you to stop ongoing punishment from a lower court and maybe get your money/property back after the fact, rather than preventing the penalty by demonstrating that the previous ruling(s) were wrong in the first place.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Mr Personpants, 18 Oct 2018 @ 11:00pm

    You are the reason we cant have nice things

    Toom1257, you are proof that encryption backdoors are philosophically impossible. There can be no automated system that reads the mindset of a person to allow them the privilege of doing x (using a backdoor or leaving a comment). It would be lovely if it were otherwise.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Stupid idiots dumb trash trolls, 19 Oct 2018 @ 5:37am

    torl

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

  • identicon
    bob, 19 Oct 2018 @ 11:26am

    BS

    I still think the judge was bribed or influenced illegally by the plaintiff. Not that i have any proof, but the ruling for the fees and how the judge acted during the case make me think there was a big conflict of interest or compromise of the judge.

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


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