Salt Lake Comic Con announced today that they have hired the law firm of Maschoff Brennan to represent them in the lawsuit against San Diego Comic-Con International.
Maschoff Brennan is a full-service intellectual property and complex litigation firm with off-the-charts technical experience, reliable service, and forward-thinking practices that allow it to handle the toughest IP cases. The firm specializes in enforcing or defending IP claims, and its litigation team has the experience and expertise needed to defend Salt Lake Comic Con's interests in the legal dispute with San Diego Comic-Con.
"We've hired some of the best IP lawyers in the country so we can devote our full attention to our Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 event in September. Our show will go on and it will be bigger and better than ever," said Dan Farr, Salt Lake Comic Con Founder and Show Producer. "But we also hope that by fighting this attack by San Diego Comic-Con, we can set the precedent and eliminate any future baseless claims like this against our company as well as other comic cons across the country. Our first choice is to resolve this issue amicably, but we are also prepared to do what is necessary to defend Salt Lake Comic Con."
On July 25, 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International sent Salt Lake Comic Con a cease and desist letter asserting that the company cannot use the term "comic con" for any event, logo, trademark or website moving forward, further claiming ownership of all variations of the generic term "comic con." The cease and desist letter was followed by a lawsuit against Dan Farr Productions, LLC, Newspaper Agency Company, LLC, Daniel Farr and Bryan Brandenburg in the United States District Court, Southern District of California claiming trademark infringement and false designation of origin.
"Part of what has helped us be so successful so quickly and to grow to be the third largest comic con in the country has been social media and creating a one-of-a-kind event. On Facebook alone we have more than 125,000 fans and Salt Lake Comic Con is the most popular comic con page on Facebook based on engagement," said Bryan Brandenburg, Salt Lake Comic Con Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer. "For this legal case, we will incorporate crowdsourcing to solicit supporting evidence, input and even legal advice from our fans, sponsors, partners, attorneys, other comic con promoters and the general public through our website, social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Hundreds of journalists, attorneys, law students, promoters and fans have already contacted Salt Lake Comic Con and given us evidence, opinions and advice supporting our position."
A number of media outlets have taken interest in the story and have written about it. The Associated Press has written two articles on the issue, the last one of which was published in more than 160,000 news outlets worldwide. In the court of public opinion, many media outlets have already declared Salt Lake Comic Con the winner. To review the letter, lawsuit, press articles and other details of the issue or supply supporting evidence, images and advice for this case click here for the Salt Lake Comic Con resource page.
Sterling A. Brennan will lead the case for Maschoff Brennan. Brennan is the former chairman of the Business Litigation Section of the Orange County Bar Association and is the past chair of the Orange County J. Reuben Clark Law Society. In 2012, he was recognized by California Lawyer as one of its intellectual property lawyers of the year for his successful trial work on behalf of Novell in defending its copyright ownership of the Unix operating system.
"There is no legal basis to support this lawsuit and we look to defending Salt Lake Comic Con's rights as the case proceeds, including at trial, if necessary," said Brennan. "We're confident that San Diego Comic-Con International has no legal claim here and are prepared to fight this case and protect Salt Lake Comic Con's right to use the name 'Comic Con' as part of its convention and website."
Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 is September 4-6, 2014 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. In one year, Salt Lake Comic Con has already become the third largest Comic Con in the United States and is expected to draw more than 120,000 attendees at this year's event. To find out more about Salt Lake Comic Con or to buy tickets, visit the Salt Lake Comic Con website.