There Can Only Be One (Comic-Con, That Is)
Comic-Con San Diego has won a court victory over its name. It’s a victory that will have long reaching effects on conventions all over the country. According to Dateline, Judge Anthony Battaglia has ruled against Salt Lake Comic Con, ordering it to cease infringing on SDCC’s trademark and pay their attorney fees, totaling four million dollars.
The ruling discredited Salt Lake’s argument over the general nature of the term “Comic Con,” especially given that SDCC has trademarks that are variations on the term, with and without hyphen. The discredited argument puts conventions across the country in a position to change names that apparently infringe on SDCC’s trademarks. Among these are New York Comic Con, one of the largest in the country, and L.A. Comic Con, formerly known as Comikaze.
Discussion of whether or not “Comic-Con”, “Comic Con”, or even “Comicon”, although the latter was not addressed directly in the ruling are legally acceptable names for a convention is over. A federal judge has ruled against that argument. Discussion goes to how conventions, especially smaller conventions that apparently infringe upon SDCC’s trademarks will proceed. Your local convention could start going by a different name.