The court arguments between San Diego Comic-Con vs. Salt Lake Comic Con over the Comic Con trademark came to a close yesterday. Tthe four-man, three-woman jury went to deliberation to 1 p.m. yesterday for three hours before retiring for the day to resume this morning.
San Diego Comic-Con attourney Callie Bjurstrom told the jury they wanted more than $12 million in damages, in part to fund an advertising campaign that will aim to distinguish between San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Lake Comic Con, as she put it “we just want our brad back”, reprising the argument put in opening statements that Salt Lake Comic Con organizers Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg tried to hijack San Diego Comic-Con’s trademark, citing e-mails showing a policy to play off the event for their own benefit, recognising it as a brand that they wanted to hijack.
In defence, Michael Katz, Salt Lake Comic Con’s lawyer, told the jury the term is generic, emphasising how many other events use the term and it was understandable for his client to do the same. And there was no confusion in attendees minds over which show they were going to.
However, Bjurstrom said that the other conventions are also infringers and that San Diego is not required to go after those other trademark violations if it doesn’t want to, pursuing only “the worst offenders first”. We have pointed out how a number of other shows using the term have licensed it, for free, from San Diego Comic-Con officially.
Salt Lake has only made three million in profit in the last four years and their founders, Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg, are also being sued as individuals. Bjurstrom says that Farr and Brandenburg would be free to continue running such shows in the future, “just pick another name”.
It is expected that whoever loses will appeal.