On July 26, the folks behind San Diego Comic Con sent Salt Lake Comic Con show producers Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg a cease and desist letter, saying the event cannot use the term "comic con" or any variation in logos, press releases, merchandise, and other promotional materials, claiming SDCC has a copyright on the term and its variations.
Today (August 6), Farr and Brandenburg made their official response to SDCC's demands. As Farr stated bluntly, "We will not back down."
"While everyone's lawyer always tells them they will win," Brandenburg explained at the press conference, held at Salt Lake City's Grand America Hotel earlier today, "our lawyers have assured us we will win."
Taking turns explaining this seemingly frivolous threat, both Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg explained the baseless notions of the letter, ultimately saying SDCC essentially has no case. "San Diego Comic Con claims they were the first fan convention to use this term, but this is simply not true," Brandenburg explained. "San Diego Comic Con started in 1970, while New York Comic Con started back in 1964, and there's a comic con in England that started in 1968. There are new comic cons starting up each week it seems, and we seem to be the only ones singled out."
It's easy to see why Farr and Brandenburg feel this way, too. Although Salt Lake Comic Con has been gaining momentum quickly since its first show in September 2013, it certainly is not the only only comic book convention to use the term "comic con". Metropolises such as New York, Chicago, and Denver all have their own Comic Cons. San Diego Comic Con has attempted similar suits against Chicago and Denver without success (the latter being awarded a copyright on for the name "Denver Comic Con" recently). Though Farr and Brandenburg have filed copyrights for both "Salt Lake Comic Con" and "Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience", time will tell whether those go through or not.
Despite the fact there is no guarantee how San Diego Comic Con will respond to Farr and Brandenburg's response, the one thing both want the fans to know is that the show will go on.
“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,” Farr stated. “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.”
Salt Lake Comic Con will be from September 4 through September 6 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Tickets are still available here.