Today, Dan Farr Productions, the organizers of Salt Lake Comic Con claimed a win, that they had been granted the trademark for “Salt Lake Comic Con”, despite legal challenges from Comic-Con International, the organisers of San Diego Comic Con.
Salt Lake City co-founder Bryan Brandenburg said Thursday that the trademark granted will “virtually” end the legal case.
“The United States Patent and Trademark Office had already ruled that ‘comic con’ was ‘nondescript’ and now they have granted us a trademark for ‘Salt Lake Comic Con’” he stated in the press release. “We’re confident that this decision from the USTPO will virtually eliminate this ongoing legal battle and allow us to prepare for another record-breaking show this September. By granting us a trademark for ‘Salt Lake Comic Con’, the trademark office is literally declaring our right to not only use comic con in our name, but that we are distinguished in the marketplace. It further declares that San Diego’s trademarked name is NOT ‘confusingly similar’ to our trademarked name, which is the nexus of the lawsuit.”
“We were less surprised by the registration than we were of the organizers’ take on it,” commented David Glanzer, spokesperson for Comic-Con International. “As there is no opposition process for a Supplemental Registration we of course were not able oppose it, however we are engaging this matter as part of the normal course of protecting our already granted and incontestable trademarks.”
A clearer understanding of Supplemental Registration might be found at the website for the International Trademark Association (INTA) wherein it states:
“A registration on the Supplemental Register does not provide all the protection of a registration on the Principal Register. For example, a Supplemental Registration does not convey the presumptions of validity, ownership and exclusive rights to use the mark that arise with a registration on the Principal Register. In addition, a Supplemental Registration cannot be used to prevent the importation of infringing or counterfeit products. Finally, a Supplemental Registration can never become incontestable.”
Peter Hahn of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, legal counsel for San Diego Comic Convention, weighed in on the matter by stating, “The issuance of a Supplemental Register Registration has no effect on San Diego Comic Convention’s exclusive rights afforded by its Principle Register Registrations for various marks including the mark ‘Comic-Con.’ Contrary to Dan Farr Production’s statement, the Supplemental Registration will have no effect on the on-going infringement litigation in San Diego. San Diego Comic Convention will continue to protect its incontestable rights in the Comic-Con mark until Dan Farr Productions discontinues infringement of the Comic-Con mark—even if that means having the Court force Dan Farr Productions to comply with the law.”
Yeah, it’s not over…. any third party folk with a legal background, feel free to break this down in the comments below.
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