The battle started almost six years ago. A Utah-based company known as Dan Farr Productions (“DFP”) decided to use San Diego Comic Convention’s (“SDCC”) registered trademark COMIC-CON in conjunction with its own comic and popular arts convention, resulting in SDCC filing suit in the Southern District of California. SDCC alleged in its complaint that it has the exclusive right to utilize its COMIC-CON trademarks and has done so in connection with its comic convention since 1970.
After years of litigation, which was apparently filled with gamesmanship on the part of DFP and its counsel, SDCC prevailed on a motion for summary judgment. DFP met SDCC’s claim for infringement with an affirmative defense that SDCC’s marks were “generic ab initio.” In other words, DFP argued that COMIC-CON was generic before SDCC’s first use. The district court disagreed, finding that the evidence tendered by DFP was insufficient to support the argument that COMIC-CON was generic before SDCC’s first use. The Ninth Circuit reviewed this decision de novo and found that the district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of SDCC.
Continue Reading The Ninth Circuit Affirms Ruling that COMIC-CON isn’t Generic for Comic Conventions