The New England Anime Society is suing Fantastic Gatherings for infringing on its trademark for Anime Boston with the Boston Anime Fest.
The New England Anime Society was formed in 2001 and the first Anime Boston was held in 2003, and has run annually since. held at the Hynes Convention Centre since 2005.
The Boston South Coast Comic Con and Boston Anime Fest will take place this weekend in Hanover, just outside of Boston. The next Anime Boston will run from March 30th, 2018.
On their website, the New England Anime Society says:
NEAS is always enthusiastic about other organizations that support and promote the celebration of Japanese pop-culture. Convention organizers are part of a tight-knit group and when one does well we all benefit. We hope that Fantastic Gatherings and IMAGE have a very successful event, but we think they should do so using their own trademark and not one that is confusingly similar to our mark and brand.
NEAS has put a lot of hard work and energy into building its own goodwill as the sole user of its distinctive brand and mark over the past 16 years. The Anime Boston mark has become synonymous with our events and it has been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. We do not want consumers and anime enthusiasts to be mistaken by another group’s use of a confusingly similar mark. That is what this case is about.
All we have asked is for Fantastic Gatherings and IMAGE to change their event’s name to something not so similar to our own mark. After denying our request twice, they have left us with no choice but to go to court to defend our mark and brand.
The New England Anime Society secured a trademark on Anime Boston in 2014, and claims that Fantastic Gatherings is copying a locally well established and registered brand.
I guess we’ll see this weekend if the name has been changed…