Salt Lake Comic Con loses trademark case with San Diego Comic-Con

SAN DIEGO (News4Utah) – A verdict was reached in the ongoing trademark dispute between Salt Lake Comic Con and San Diego Comic-Con International. 

Friday, a California jury ruled that San Diego’s trademark stands and Salt Lake Comic Con organizers infringed on that trademark. However, jurors found that the defendants “did not willfully” infringe on the trademarks.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by San Diego Comic-Con back in 2014 that claims San Diego Comic-Con owns the term “comic con.”

San Diego claimed that Salt Lake’s use of the name was either identical or confusingly similar to San Diego and because of that, it hurt San Diego’s brand.

Salt Lake founders have maintained that the name “comic con” is too generic to belong to San Diego.

According to Co-Founder Bryan Brandenburg, although San Diego sought $20 million, Salt Lake Comic Con was only ordered to pay $20,000 in damages. Brandenburg said "it's not over" indicating the Salt Lake team will likely appeal the ruling. 

"We do not agree with the verdict. SLCC [Salt Lake Comic Con] was not unique and there are now 140+ other infringing comic cons around the county.There is still a petition to cancel SDCC's [San Diego Comic Con's] "comic-con" trademark in the patent and trademark office. This is a separate challenge that was not allowed at trial," said Brandenburg in a statement to News4Utah Friday. 

This is a developing story. Additional details will be posted as they become available.


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