So, I was at the Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg press conference this morning at the Little America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City where they formally responded to San Diego Comic Con’s Cease and Desist letter that was delivered last week (see story HERE). In a nutshell, Salt Lake Comic Con’s organizers feel that the C&D is baseless, and, though they have had discussions between the management of the two events, no resolution has been reached.
Dan and Bryan were both quick to point out that there is no legal action occurring at this point. There have been no lawsuits filed, only the letter asking that Salt Lake drop the “Comic Con” from their event name.
Also of note at the press conference, in response to a question, Dan Farr stated that there has not been negative feedback from the celebrity world in terms of “I can’t come” or cancellations or the like. Indeed, he implied that just the opposite was true, which, if accurate, speaks volumes in terms of the perception of Salt Lake Comic Con’s stature and ability to draw.
It may, and this is just me speaking, also speak to the perceived over-commercialization of the San Diego event, which now appears to be as much a fan-driven event as the Sundance Film Festival is about independent movies.
In any event, below is the official press release from Salt Lake Comic Con from today.
Salt Lake Comic Con Responds to San Diego Comic-Con International
– The show will go on; San Diego Comic-Con International can’t stop Salt Lake Comic Con from hosting its event on September 4-6, 2014 –
SALT LAKE CITY, August 6, 2014 – In response to San Diego Comic-Con International’s cease and desist letter, Salt Lake Comic Con (http://saltlakecomiccon.com/) is letting its fans and attendees know that the 2ndAnnual Salt Lake Comic Con is on schedule and won’t be stopped by San Diego.
The recent cease and desist letter requests that Salt Lake Comic Con not use the term “Comic Con” for any event, logo, trademark or website moving forward because they believe it causes confusion in the marketplace. They further claim in the letter ownership of all variations of the generic term “Comic Con.” No formal legal process has occurred and Salt Lake Comic Con is under no obligation to respond to the strongly worded letter from Comic-Con International’s attorneys or comply with any of their demands.
“We want to assure fans, sponsors, partners and the general public that the show will go on. We will have another record-breaking event in September and we are currently under no legal obligation to change our current course in any way,” said Dan Farr, Salt Lake Comic Con Founder and Show Producer. “We’re prepared to do whatever it takes to protect our event, intellectual property and secure our ability to produce the Salt Lake Comic Con.”
Since receiving the cease and desist request letter, Salt Lake Comic Con shared the letter online. To view a copy of the cease and desist letter and resource page for this issue, click here.
A large number of media outlets have taken interest in the story and have written about it. The Associated Press wrote an article that’s been published in more than 59,000 news outlets worldwide. The story made the front page of Inc. Magazine, Forbes Magazine, internationally on the front page of the Australian Financial News and the Salt Lake Tribune proclaimed that in the court of public opinion Salt Lake Comic Con has already won. The story is being widely covered by legal publications including the World Intellectual Property Review, FindLaw, Inside Counsel and the Washington Examiner.
Salt Lake Comic Con’s attorneys are 100 percent confident that they will prevail as precedence against claims like this has been established by other Comic Cons and other trade shows including New York and Chicago. Salt Lake Comic Con’s confidence is supported by the fact that “Comic Con” originated in New York in 1964, prior to San Diego Comic Con. Furthermore, multiple “Comic Cons” existed prior to the Comic-Con trademark that was granted in 2005, including Chicago Comic Con (that was established in 1972), Motor City Comic Con (1989), Big Apple Comic Con (1996) andDallas Comic Con (2002).
Comic Conventions and other similar events are becoming more and more popular and are being held in cities across the country from Salt Lake City, Utah to Boston, Massachusetts and from Little Rock, Arkansas to Stockton, California. In August 2014 alone there are at least eleven Comic-book conventions scheduled in the United States. By threatening Salt Lake Comic Con, San Diego threatens all conventions that use a variation of Comic Con. In the United States alone that number exceeds more than 100 conventions and the number increases significantly with international events.
“The cease and desist letter is baseless and under no circumstances will we surrender our Website, our logo or any of the other things called for in the letter, “said Bryan Brandenburg, Salt Lake Comic Con Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer. “San Diego Comic-Con cannot stop us from holding our show in September. Our attorneys have assured us that we have every right to use the name Salt Lake Comic Con and we hope San Diego is willing to resolve this amicably. We have the resources and are fully prepared to defend our rights and business against this predatory act.”
In one year, Salt Lake Comic Con has already grown to become the third largest Comic Con in the country. Its September event is poised to draw more than 120,000 fans. For more information about Salt Lake Comic Con, the country’s third largest comic con, visit the Salt Lake Comic Con website.
ABOUT SALT LAKE COMIC CON:
Salt Lake Comic Con is organized by Dan Farr Productions in partnership with Media One of Utah, a joint operating agreement between the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, and ABC4/CW30 of the Nexstar Broadcasting Group. Dan Farr Productions is an event and marketing group devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium celebrities and brands in the pop culture arena. Dan Farr Productions is dedicated to producing spectacular celebrations of popular culture that lead the market in providing exceptional and rewarding experiences for our consumers, fans, celebrity guests, vendors and partners. Find out more at: www.SaltLakeComicCon.com, www.mediaoneutah.com,www.abc4.com/.
So, buy your tickets now, before the rest of the west figures out that Salt Lake City is where they want to be for this great event!