Source: AP, San Diego Union-Tribune, Forbes
A California federal jury unanimously decided in favor of San Diego Comic Convention, ruling that a rival event in Utah infringed its trademarks relating to “Comic-Con.” A team led by Pillsbury partner Callie Bjurstrom represented San Diego Comic Convention in the 10-day trial.
“San Diego Comic Convention has used the Comic-Con trademarks in connection with our comics and popular arts conventions for almost 50 years,” Pillsbury and SDCC said in a joint statement. “We have invested substantial time, talent and resources in our brand, resulting in world-wide recognition of the Comic-Con convention held annually in San Diego.”
SDCC’s suit alleged that in 2013, Dan Farr Productions began to promote the “Salt Lake Comic Con” in Utah, an event that SDCC says capitalizes on its decades of brand building, according to Law360. The San Diego event has been held annually since 1970, and SDCC holds trademarks for its logo and several permutations of the term "Comic-Con."
“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," the joint SDCC and Pillsbury statement said. "For that we are grateful.”
Forbes reports that the case could have “wide-ranging implications for the multi-billion dollar fan events industry.”
SDCC will seek a permanent injunction in the coming weeks to prevent future use of the marks. Post-trial motions are due by Jan. 8.
Pillsbury attorneys representing San Diego Comic Convention included Bjurstrom, Peter Hahn, Michelle Herrera, Lauren Wardle, Conor Civins and Kevin Fong.
San Diego Comic Convention is a non-profit educational corporation dedicated to celebrating and promoting comics and the popular arts.