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SD Comic-Con issues cease-and-desist against Salt Lake Comic Con

A cease and desist letter was issued Friday to prevent the Salt Lake City Comic-Con convention that is scheduled next month from using Comic-Con in its name.

The copyright infringement action was brought by the law offices of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP on behalf of San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC), which operates Comic-Con here.

In the July 25 letter to Dan Farr Productions and Newspaper Agency Co. LLC, which operate the Salt Lake event, it is stated that the name Comic-Con, Comic-Con International and Anaheim Comic-Con are each registered trademarks.

"Attendees, exhibitors and fans seeing use of 'Comic-Con' in connection with your convention will incorrectly assume that your convention is in some way affiliated with SDCC and its Comic-Con convention … Use of 'Comic-Con' in this manner is an infringement of SDCC's valuable registered trademark rights. As a result, SDCC is entitled to an award of damages against your companies as well as entry of an injunction prohibiting further infringing conduct," the letter stated.

Bryan Brandenburg, Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder and chief marketing officer, said a ruling has already been issued on use of "Comic Con."

"San Diego Comic-Con International is threatening not only us, but all the other Comic Cons by trying to prohibit them from using the term for their events," said Bryan Brandenburg, Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder and chief marketing officer. "San Diego Comic-Con attempted to trademark 'Comic Con' in 1995 and the application failed. Furthermore, precedence for the mark 'Comic Con' was set when Denver Comic Con received a trademark for their convention on November 26, 2013. Nobody owns the words 'Comic Con' (short for comic convention) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office has already ruled on this."

The letter calls for a response by Salt Lake City organizers by Aug. 6.

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