Jury Sides With San Diego Comic-Con in Trademark Lawsuit Against Salt Lake Comic Con


The heated battle over the phrase "Comic-Con" has come to an end. On Friday a jury sided with San Diego Comic-Con in a court battle with Utah's rival pop culture convention over rights to use the phrase "comic con."

THR reports the panel decided that Salt Lake Comic Con used the trademarked phrase without SDCC's permission, but it did not do it knowingly. SDCC was asking for $12 million in damages, but ultimately the court awarded the San Diego event $20,000. 

In a statement San Diego Comic-Con said: 

"From the beginning all that we asked of the defendants was to stop using our Comic-Con trademarks. Today we obtained a verdict that will allow us to achieve this."

But Salt Lake Comic Con is not happy with the outcome, The Utah convention's co-founder Dan Farr told a Salt Lake City TV station that he plans to appeal the decision.

Lawyers for SDCC argued during the trial that Utah's event stole the conventions name to have instant success built on the reputation the San Diego Con has built over years of hard work.

"This case is about stealing, taking something that is not yours, something you have no right to. It's about right, and it's about wrong," Callie Bjurstrom, an attorney for San Diego Comic-Con International, said during closing arguments.

Salt Lake says the phrase is a generic shortened form of "comic book convention" used by 140 other events around the country. They said they saw dozens of other unaffiliated events using the same phrase and thought it was 100% usable.

Salt Lake Comic Con has made nearly $3 million since it started in 2013.

San Diego Comic-Con has grown into the biggest event of pop culture, since its start in 1970 and now has an annual attendance of more than 135,000.