It was announced today that the organizers behind Salt Lake Comic Con have received a cease and desist order from none other than San Diego Comic Con. According to SDCC, the term "comic con" is part of their intellectual rights, and that that they should be the only ones allowed to use it. Interestingly enough, and as Dan Farr points out in the following statement, SDCC isn't going after any other cons (Denver, New York, etc), just Salt Lake:
This cease and desist order is baseless and has been attempted before by this organization and has failed. Our primary concern is our fans and making sure we provide them with an event that allows them to meet, greet and get up close and personal with their favorite celebrities and pop culture icons. We’re puzzled why Salt Lake Comic Con was apparently singled out amongst the hundreds of Comic Cons around the country and the world. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves from this frivolous action.
Bryan Brandenburg, SLCC's Chief Marketing Officer, noted that the term "comic con" is not trademarked, and that San Diego's attempt to trademark it back in 1995 was denied, which means that they cannot stop its use by others.
To me, this almost seems like SDCC is worried about our rising attendance (third largest in the nation) and the notice we are getting from some of the big names that used to be wholly within their convention domain (Marvel and Dark Horse). If anything, this reminds me of the brouhaha between Apple and Amazon a few years back about the use of the term "app store" for their respective mobile application markets. Just as back then, I am pretty sure that any judge with half a brain will realize that people are aware that the two are separate entities and that San Diego is not harmed by the use of a name they can't even trademark.
What do you all think? Should SLCC be forced to change its name, or is SDCC just getting worried and trying to strike back? Let us know in the comments below.
Also, if you would like to read the whole cease and desist letter or join in with SLCC on protecting our con, you can follow this link for more info.