“Comic-Con” Lawsuit is Likely to Go to Court

Settlement talks regarding the Comic-Con name between the Comic-Con International organizers and the Salt Lake City Comic Con organizers appear to be failing. Therefore, a judge has told the two parties to schedule pre-trial hearings before the end of the month. However, this does not a definite indicator of a future trial, as the two parties may reach a settlement before the allotted time is up.

No matter what, the outcome of this case will be very interesting.

The dispute between the two parties began in July 2014, when Comic-Con International sent the organizers of Salt Lake City Comic Con a cease and desist letter. This may have been sparked by a car emblazoned with the Salt Lake City Comic Con logo that Salt Lake City Comic Con sent to San Diego during San Diego Comic Con. In August of that same year Comic-Con International proceeded to sue the organizers of Salt Lake Comic Con.

Comic-Con International claims that Salt Lake City Comic Con is violating the copyright that Comic-Con International holds on the term “comic-con.” They further claim that Salt Lake City Comic Con is trying to “confuse and mislead consumers” by using the Comic Con name.

Salt Lake Comic Con claims that this case is rather important regarding the term “comic-con.” Bryan Brandenberg, who helped found Salt Lake City Comic Con stated: “A lot of people have figured out that our case is the nexus of the ‘comic con’ trademark issue. It’s San Diego versus everyone else.” Brandenburg also claims that Salt Lake City Comic Con has a strong case due to its lack of a hyphen. The trademarked phrase “comic-con” allegedly contains a hyphen, and the Salt Lake City Comic Con allegedly does not.

It will be very interesting to see how this case turns out. As Brandenberg claims, it could, in fact, have a shuddering impact on comic conventions and how they are named.

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About the author

Siobhan Dempsey

Siobhan is a 24 year old MLIS student who prefers to read over socializing and is passionate about diversity and accessibility.