Another Comic-Con Trademark Fight – Lose The Battle, Win The War?

sdcc-logo-hubThe other day I noticed that a number of trademark registrations for the word "Comic-Con" made by Comic-Con International, the organisers of San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon, had been suspended for the following categories

Clothing, namely, shirts.

Printed matter, namely, magazines, newsletters and event guide books all in the fields of entertainment, animation, comic books and popular art.

Promoting public recognition and awareness of the creative and artistic developments of others in the fields of entertainment, animation, comic books and popular art.

Educational and entertainment services, namely, providing incentives by way of awards to people to demonstrate excellence in the field of entertainment, animation, comic books and popular art; providing recognition and incentives by the way of awards to demonstrate excellence in the fields of entertainment, animation, comic books and popular art.

Video-on-demand transmission services; audio-visual on-demand transmission services; streaming of audiovisual and multimedia material on the Internet

There have been repeated battles over that phrase in the trademark registrations and the documentation cites trademarks clashes with Denver Comic Con, Jekyll Comic Con and Salt Lake City Comic Con.

But David Glanzer of Comic-Con International told Bleeding Cool,

We continue to have the right to Comic-Con as has been granted to us by the US Trademark office. In an effort to create a more uniform policy our counsel has requested a suspension of several applications. This is a requested suspension and not abandonment and is, from my understanding, not an atypical approach.

Recently Boston Comic Con, Kansas City Comic Con, RI Comic Con found their trademark registration refused due to this issue and it's a journey Hudson Valley Comic Con may be going through, while Denver and Salt Lake City seem to have had more success. If any trademark lawyers would fancy looking at the comparative cases and help my understand why some seem to have succeeded and other have not, I'd love to hear it.

This fight is not a new one and may well have years in it. Right now Comic-Con International is just concentrating its resources for the fight to come…

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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