23 JULY 2015
If you've been following the legal skirmish between CCI and Salt Lake Comic Con, here's a fresh development: Salt Lake Comic Con got its name trademarked by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This is good news for SLCC and probably a bitter pill for SDCC.
Why this is relevant: "The trademark specifies that no claim is made to the exclusive right to use 'comic con' apart from the mark as shown." Apparently USTPO already ruled that "comic con" was "nondescript" (which as someone who owns a domain called comicconguide.com, I enjoyed hearing); this trademark further solidifies SLCC's legal claim to use those words in its name.
If you're not familiar with the history of this lawsuit, it started with SLCC driving a flashy car with an SLCC decal around SDCC last year. (It feels like this has been dragging on for at least 3 years but it really was that recent.) A highly perturbed CCI fired off a cease and desist letter which led to a lawsuit and countersuit.
SDCC's claim: intellectual property infringement, SLCC is too confusingly similar to SDCC in terms of a name, and other branding crimes. SLCC's view: there are a jillion events called "Comic Con" and "Comicon" and "Comic-Con" already so why target them? You can read SLCC's summary of the situation here; in the interest of fairness, I'd point you to SDCC's summary but - shockingly - they aren't sharing much about it.
So that's the situation. SLCC founder Dan Farr provided a telling quote: “Now hopefully we (and many others around the country) can fully focus on producing exciting comic book related fan events called comic cons. Maybe, in some small way, we have played the role of heroes in this battle.”
That would suggest the "battle" is over - but is it?