Behind the scenes for the last 20 odd years there has been a fight over the usage of the name "comic-con." While most would consider the phrase "comic con" as part of the public lexicon and a common phrase as it's been used in one way or another since the 60's. The owners of the San Diego Comic-Con disagree. They filed for copyright in 2005 and were granted it.
Hollywood Reporter describes it this way "A decade ago, San Diego Comic Convention obtained a trademark registration for "comic-con." This happened after the trademark examiner initially refused, noting that the mark was merely descriptive. To show otherwise, San Diego Comic Convention executive director Fae Desmond submitted a declaration that "comic-con" had "been used continuously and exclusively in interstate commerce … for over 36 years."
Now San Diego Comic-Con International is suing several comic book conventions that use the wording in one manner or another. The first up is Salt Lake Comic Con. The Salt Lake Convention is fighting back using social media and posting their own info on the case, Bryan Brandenburg one of the heads of the SLCC posted this earlier in July.
If you're not interested in the SLCC vs SDCC case, keep scrolling. If you are, here's a #GameChanger in the case.
We have filed a Petition for Cancelation for the trademark "comic-con".
"Petitioner seeks cancellation of Registration No. 3,219,568 for the mark COMICCON, pursuant to Trademark Act § 14 (3), 15 U.S.C. § 1064(3), based on Respondent's fraud in the procurement of its Registration."
Click here for the facts relating to the trademark cancelation: https://goo.gl/9bnrts
This discovery of the false declarations at the Patent and Trademark Office is somewhat miraculous considering it will likely result in San Diego's marks being canceled by the trademark office and be the nexus of summary judgment in our case. Right is right. This has been a arduous process and it's not over yet, but this truly is a game changer.
I am keeping those that want to know informed. We have been accused of something that we are not guilty of. It is our responsibility to stand up to SDCC as we have done nothing wrong nor have the many comic cons around the country. Here are the Motions for Summary Judgment that detail why even with valid trademarks we are innocent.
The judge in the case has now requested that neither parties post or make comment on the case until November when it's heard. THR put it this way "The parties are being allowed to post court papers, but only in full and without further comment. The judge is also warning that violation of the order will warrant strong sanctions."
However this court case pans out - it will be a gamechanger for the extremely profitable convention world. With rebranding, and likely follow-up lawsuits to be had if SDCC wins this could be a costly couple of years for the industry. There is also the wider issue of copyrighting common phrases as Donald Trump attempted with "You're Fired" and my alma mater Syracuse University tried to do with the word "orange."0comments