On August 23, 2018, U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia granted a permanent injunction preventing a Utah comic convention from using the name “Salt Lake Comic Con.”
Judge Battaglia found for the well-known San Diego Comic Convention (“SDCC”), and awarded the SDCC nearly $4 million in attorneys' fees. Judge Battaglia explained,
“SDCC has demonstrated that it will suffer ‘actual irreparable harm' if [Dan Farr Productions] chooses to use ‘Comic-Con' or ‘Comic Con' in the name of any present or future comic arts or popular fiction events.”
Although the Judge rightfully allowed the Utah convention to include the words “comic convention” in their event name (now “FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention”), this decision gives the SDCC plenty of ammunition to protect its well-known trademark against other infringers. Judge Battaglia also granted the SDCC their request for fees and costs of nearly $4 million holding this case was the “exceptional type of case” where fees are warranted due to defendants' questionable litigation tactics and for repeatedly disregarding court rules, squandering judicial resources by relitigating issues at every opportunity” and regularly basing legal arguments on irrelevant case law.
Defendants will be appealing Judge Battaglia's decision.
The case is San Diego Comic Convention v. Dan Farr Productions et al., case number 3:14-cv-01865, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
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