San Diego Comic-Con is suing Salt Lake Comic Con for federal trademark infringement, claiming the Utah convention is capitalizing off the ‘Comic-Con’ name.

San Diego Comic-Con Sues Salt Lake Comic Con

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Aug. 7, San Diego Comic-Con claims, “Defendants are using the Comic-Con mark, or a confusingly similar mark, in connection with the sale of its products and services without (San Diego Comic-Con’s) consent, and with knowledge of SDCC’s rights in the Comic-Con marks.”

San Diego Comic-Con claims that, by using the “Comic Con” name, Salt Lake Comic Con’s “actions have caused, and will continue to cause, irreparable harm to (San Diego Comic-Con) and to the public which is deceived as to the source and sponsorship of (San Diego’s) goods and services.”

However, Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder Bryan Brandenburg is fighting the lawsuit and said he believes that SDCC was only motivated to file this lawsuit because of Salt Lake Comic Con’s success – attracting about 72,000 attendees its first year.

“A lot of comic cons start up every year, but we’re the first to have the largest [first-time] comic con in North American history in little Salt Lake City. We got on their radar and we grew out of nowhere to become the third-largest comic con in our first year, so that really got a lot of attention,” Brandenburg told the Desert News.

Brandenburg, who received a cease-and-desist letter from SDCC in July, also pointed out that there are countless other “Comic Cons” taking place in the country that SDCC has taken no legal effort to stop. Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder Dan Farr reportedly said that they had been in contact with other such convention organizers, and have received support, though he refused to name them.

“If we lose, everybody loses. We feel very strong that we’re not doing anything that everyone else isn’t doing,” Brandenburg added.