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The trademark battle between San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Lake Comic Con will no longer include Newspaper Agency Corp.
The publishing company reached a settlement this week with the massive San Diego pop culture convention and was dismissed from the suit.
San Diego had sued Salt Lake Comic Con and Newspaper Agency Corp., which helps produce Salt Lake Comic Con's convention materials, in August, on the grounds that Salt Lake's name is too similar.
As part of that settlement, Newspaper Agency Corp. cannot produce anything for a comic convention that looks "confusingly similar" to San Diego's trademark, if San Diego wins its federal lawsuit against Salt Lake. On Friday, Magistrate Judge Jan Adler for the Southern District of California granted both parties more time to discuss the suit before any trial is set.
The attorneys are scheduled to meet again with Adler on Feb. 5 to see what progress they have made, if any.
Technically, San Diego Comic-Con only has the hyphenated version trademarked. Salt Lake Comic Con's organizers have long contended that they should be able to use "Comic Con" in their name, without the hyphen, since the term is generic. But San Diego's legal team argues that the similarity has confused people into thinking that Salt Lake's event is somehow associated with the larger California convention.
Last year, members of Salt Lake's defense firm remarked that Adler has a reputation for pushing hard to see cases settle. If the parties can't settle, Salt Lake Comic Con has asked that the case go before a jury.
San Diego has suggested that Salt Lake rebrand Salt Lake Comic Con with the name of its other event, FanX. But Salt Lake organizers have pointed out that more than 24 other conventions around the country use "Comic Con" in their names as well, including the second-largest comic convention in the country, New York Comic Con.