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Comic-Cons No More: Because Trademark Infringement Isn't Funny

By George Khoury, Esq. on September 14, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The result of the San Diego Comic Con trademark lawsuit didn't just crush the producers of the Salt Lake City Comic Con under a massive pile of attorney fees, it's having more reach than some might expect, and likely to the delight of the SDCC's attorneys.

Recent reports explain that other comic cons are abandoning the practice of calling the gatherings a "con," which as anyone and everyone knows, is short for convention when placed after the word comic. However, despite decades of use by other conventions, it seems that for comic conventions the "con" convention is out due to threat and fear of scorched earth comic con litigation.

Rebranding Comic Cons to Conventions

In addition to Salt Lake, comic conventions in Michigan, Indiana, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, and Atlanta, are all being rebranded away from using the phrase comic con. Most seem to just be opting to use the full word convention rather than con.

The minds behind San Diego Comic Con claim the -Con term is theirs. They use it in Anaheim's WonderCon, and they also plan to open a Comic Con Museum in San Diego.

Marketing Confusion

For San Diego Comic Con's case, as the court explained, their adversaries seem to have no one but themselves to blame. The meager $20K jury award came after round after round of the Salt Lake defendants using every litigation device available, regardless of merit. As such, the Salt Lake City Comic Con litigants were found to have delayed and wasted court resources, and brought on their own attorney fee nightmare.

The producers of the Salt Lake Comic Convention do not expect the fee award to be held up on appeal, as it is grossly disproportionate to the jury award. But given the tenor of the litigation, the appeal may just be viewed as more of the same.

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