Back in the old days these disputes were settled by a heated round of Dungeons & Dragons, but not anymore. San Diego Comic Convention (“SDCC”) has filed a lawsuit against the people behind Salt Lake Comic Con (“SLCC”) for trademark infringement over the unauthorized use of the COMIC-CON mark.
In the dark ages, pre Star Wars, in 1970, SDCC was born and has been held annually ever since. The first comic book convention drew approximately 100 people; this year’s SDCC had over 130,000 attendees. In connection with its services, SDCC registered the COMIC-CON and COMIC CON INTERNATIONAL trademarks, among others.
Beginning in 2013, Salt Lake began holding its comic book convention entitled “Salt Lake Comic Con”. According to SDCC, defendants made this decision to capitalize on SDCC’s creativity, hard work and used SDCC’s trademarks without permission. SLCC uses these trademarks on all types of merchandise and even the car pictured with Lou Ferrigno, the original pre-CGI Incredible Hulk, kids, that was driven in San Diego during this year’s SDCC.
SDCC claims that using the marks, including driving the vehicle pictured to the right around the vicinity of the SDCC, create a false association between the two conventions when they are in no way related. SDCC wants SLCC enjoined from using the trademarks and seeks damages and attorneys’ fees. “Comic Cons” have sprung up all over the country and by this lawsuit it is clear that SDCC is fighting to prevent these marks from becoming generic.