SDCC is suing my local comic con

http://fox13now.com/2014/07/26/slc-comic-con-hit-with-cease-and-desist-letter-over-the-words-comic-con/

So there was a comic con in Salt Lake City for the first time in spring and it was extraordinarily successful. So successful that they're having another one in September. I guess this must have made San Diego jealous because they singled out Salt Lake for daring to refer to its comic con with the words 'comic con'. So yeah the sdcc sent a cease and desist to salt lake claiming that the comic con is only their thing, even though several other cities use it too. I don't know if sdcc is really going through with it or if they're just trying to intimidate slccc but either way slccc isn't changing it's name which is cool.

I've never really had a lot of respect for sdcc for the same reasons I don't have respect for e3. As in it's just a gigantic circlejerk for journalists to create massive hype. And now that they've hit this close to home I have zero respect.

I'm not an expert on legal matters so I don't know if SDCC has a foot to stand on in that regard, but to me it sure comes off as incredibly petty.

If they do that they will have to go after every venue named so. My city (phoenix) also has one but i guess its not popular enough to get wrath from the og convention.

Honestly, this is a bit mean. It's not like anybody's suffering because of this.

Eh, it seems petty and I'm not sure of the legality, but I can see the reasoning behind it.

It's very understandable if you assume "Salt Lake City Comic-Con" and "San Diego Comic-Con" are related somehow, a subsidiary or something.

So if your con turned out disastrous, Like Dashcon, with allegations of fraud etc, people would then assume the other con named the same was involved and there'd be more distrust.

But on the other hand, 'Comic-con' isn't particularly unique, so...

(Maybe this is because of Dashcon, they want to avoid that kind of bad publicity)

LobsterFeng:
http://fox13now.com/2014/07/26/slc-comic-con-hit-with-cease-and-desist-letter-over-the-words-comic-con/

So there was a comic con in Salt Lake City for the first time in spring and it was extraordinarily successful. So successful that they're having another one in September. I guess this must have made San Diego jealous because they singled out Salt Lake for daring to refer to its comic con with the words 'comic con'. So yeah the sdcc sent a cease and desist to salt lake claiming that the comic con is only their thing, even though several other cities use it too. I don't know if sdcc is really going through with it or if they're just trying to intimidate slccc but either way slccc isn't changing it's name which is cool.

I've never really had a lot of respect for sdcc for the same reasons I don't have respect for e3. As in it's just a gigantic circlejerk for journalists to create massive hype. And now that they've hit this close to home I have zero respect.

Just another example of copyright laws spiraling wildly out of control. Copyright and patents are there for a reason. My uncle worked for British aerospace, was pretty high up. I remember him telling me about how American military contractors pinched the designs for the harrier jump jet, changed the wing design slightly and then patented it. Hell, someone patented penicillin after it was given free to the world and made a bundle off the sick and dying (again american) so it's no wonder the countries copyright system is so f****d.

Have you met America? The most surprising thing about this is that it's taken this long. Luckily SDCC isn't a global brand, so my British Comic Cons will be safe

From the replies so far, this is going to make me pretty unpopular. I'm not familiar with Comic-Con. I know it exists. I know it's called Comic-Con. And therein lies the justification for this lawsuit. To place 'Comic-Con' at the end of a place name is going to imply it's the same Comic-Con, just in a different location, and so the first and/or largest is going to take issue with these local conventions using identical branding techniques. I would assume the San Diego Comic Con and Salt Lake City Comic Con were run by the same organisers, and so I might go to the Salt Lake City venue expecting the same kind of grandiose convention the San Diego team run, and for that reason people might skip out on paying to travel to San Diego because they assume their local convention will be the same.

That's the justification for the lawsuit, and I don't find it frivolous at all.

No, this is a totally reasonable cease and desist. I normally hate the things, but living in Salt Lake City myself I can confirm that there is a prevailing belief that this is an official offshoot of the SDCC. This is only a problem for SDCC because the SLCC is so large. Their brand is being diluted. If they own the trade mark or copyright or whatever on the name then I think this one is a totally legitimate claim that needs to be settled in court. And then we find out if you can trademark the words "comic con." I seriously doubt you can, but that does not make this legal action frivolous.

Plus, they haven't even got to the suing stages yet.

i don't think you can trademark a contraction.

certainly not in any sane country at any rate...

Thyunda:
*snip*

con is the contracted form of the word convention.

in other word "comic con" simply means "comic convention"

it's not a name but rather a description of what the event is.

imo "SDCC" are likely to lose any such case because tbth they have a stupidly generic name that is actually entirely descriptive in nature.

also there are apparently at least 13 other notable "Comic Con"s in the US : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comic-Con

This is frivolous. My local Comic Con was started by two guys who run a comic book store about the size of a small apartment, and the only issue I've ever heard them say about it was the difficulty in finding proper managers once it got big.

On a side note: how DID SDCC become "The" Comic Con in the first place?

As I understand things a lot of conventions are set up by management groups that help provide services, equipment, etc. I've run into a few mentions of this when I worked casino security and they had conventions being set up and the like, a lot of times you'd have a management company setting up the basics for the convention, and then the guys who the con was for actually coming in to fill it up, take assigned/purchased slots, and so on.

My immediate guess is that "Comic Con" might be a very specific organization that goes around and sets up conventions in different areas under that name, a specialty convention producer so to speak. Whether they do it on request, travel on their own, or whatever else I do not know. I guess a lot of these things happen in different ways. "Comic Con" is actually a very specific name given the way they shortened "convention" and so on. While it's popular slang, that doesn't mean someone can't hold rights to something like that especially if it's been associated with them for a long time. I'd guess a lot of other "Comic Cons" in different areas might be being run by the same basic company that does "the" Comic Con and thus get to use the name.

Whether that's fair or not depends on your perspective, while it seems bullying towards the little guys, if you've been running a multi-year (or is it decade now) business institution like this, and then you wind up getting a bad rap because of something that happens at a local "Comic Con" from people that know then name of your business and assume you set it up (as many organizers might) that kind of sucks.

As a general rule I've noticed a lot of cons tend to use things like "Gen Con", "Dragon Con", "Comi Con" (I'm pretty sure) and others, probably because of this distinction and so they can all mark out their territory. I believe many years ago Gen Con actually won a case over someone else wanting to use the name based on priority usage.

In a lot of other countries I think America looks ridiculous because they have largely been fortunate enough to not have incidents that have prompted this kind of paranoia and desire to avoid brand confusion. That's one of the things about being an IP based society and economy, even words can have value.

It's sort of like how many moons ago The World Wildlife Fund successfully forced The World Wrestling Federation to change it's name simply because of the way the initials were also WWF which was used in promotional material. Pro-wrestling got a lot more attention and fans, and as a result people searching on the internet for "WWF" got wrestling sites with "The World Wildlife Fund" buried. You'd think the two could co-exist using the same three letters, but the bottom line is The Fund felt it cut in on their business (and it only became an issue due to web searches apparently) and not being associated with those initials was costing them support, so they fought about it, and won, because they had a "WWF" name/logo first. It sounds silly, but if it was your money and reputation, you might not think so.

I'm not saying I like it mind you, I just understand it. In the scheme of things it might actually be the lesser of evils.

I'm honestly lost as to why SDCC is going after the Salt-Lake one.

The only thing I can think of is that SDCC is pissed because the one in Salt-Lake isn't affiliated with them. I think the one is New York is associated with the one in San Diego, but I could be wrong. In any case, they will probably get laughed out of court.

Darks63:
If they do that they will have to go after every venue named so. My city (phoenix) also has one but i guess its not popular enough to get wrath from the og convention.

I dunno.

Some pretty big names have come by that one, and I do remember Spock himself being there one year.

I personally think they're getting pretty huge since it's damn near impossible to move around in the Phoenix Convention Center, and the Marriot (I think) that houses some of the other stuff. I don't think it will ever get SDCC or NYCC big though, and thank God for that.

Fiz_The_Toaster:
I'm honestly lost as to why SDCC is going after the Salt-Lake one.

The only thing I can think of is that SDCC is pissed because the one in Salt-Lake isn't affiliated with them. I think the one is New York is associated with the one in San Diego, but I could be wrong. In any case, they will probably get laughed out of court.

Darks63:
If they do that they will have to go after every venue named so. My city (phoenix) also has one but i guess its not popular enough to get wrath from the og convention.

I dunno.

Some pretty big names have come by that one, and I do remember Spock himself being there one year.

I personally think they're getting pretty huge since it's damn near impossible to move around in the Phoenix Convention Center, and the Marriot (I think) that houses some of the other stuff. I don't think it will ever get SDCC or NYCC big though, and thank God for that.

It was hard for me to tell really how big it was(the 2013 Con) since I was working security over by the auditorium where all the panels were being held and the traffic there was moderate. I do remember that they had to shut all entries to the building on saturday during the Babylon 5 reunion panel due the fire marshall declaring that the building was over capacity.

Nearly every major city has a "Comic-Con". I'm not sure if the name is actually trademarked...

Darks63:

Fiz_The_Toaster:
I'm honestly lost as to why SDCC is going after the Salt-Lake one.

The only thing I can think of is that SDCC is pissed because the one in Salt-Lake isn't affiliated with them. I think the one is New York is associated with the one in San Diego, but I could be wrong. In any case, they will probably get laughed out of court.

Darks63:
If they do that they will have to go after every venue named so. My city (phoenix) also has one but i guess its not popular enough to get wrath from the og convention.

I dunno.

Some pretty big names have come by that one, and I do remember Spock himself being there one year.

I personally think they're getting pretty huge since it's damn near impossible to move around in the Phoenix Convention Center, and the Marriot (I think) that houses some of the other stuff. I don't think it will ever get SDCC or NYCC big though, and thank God for that.

It was hard for me to tell really how big it was(the 2013 Con) since I was working security over by the auditorium where all the panels were being held and the traffic there was moderate. I do remember that they had to shut all entries to the building on saturday during the Babylon 5 reunion panel due the fire marshall declaring that the building was over capacity.

Yeah, it was pretty bad.

There was a longer queue than normal to get into the merch area, and they were counting heads in that area. I know they keep saying that they're gonna move some of their stuff elsewhere to lighten the load, but I seriously doubt it. If I remember right, they had some stuff going on in Mesa in 2012 to offset everything, but I don't know how well that went. Probably not well seeing as how packed it was that year.

I didn't go this year, so I don't know how crazy it all was.

The underlying problem is, while San Diego may have a valid concern with how their image will be affected, trying to patent the name "comic con" means they own all the other cons, and can tell them what to do. They won't aid in any way, so how can they own the con? And the argument is more ridiculous in light of the fact that Salt Lake is only a recent offender of this infraction, and a very successful one, from what people have said.

So it's not that they're looking out for the good of the con, it seems. They look scared that a rookie comic con is stealing their thunder. They should be glad that nerdom has another mecca. Not all of us can afford a ticket to San Diego.

Um...my home of Reno, NV is hosting a Comic-Con for the first time ever later this year. I'm super excited about it. Is SDCC going to send us a C&D letter too? Because that would suck.

 

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