FanX ordered to pay $4 million in legal fees to San Diego Comic Con International

Local News

SAN DIEGO, CA (News4Utah) – A federal judge has ordered the founders of Salt Lake City based FanX to pay almost $4 million in legal fees over a trademark dispute with San Diego Comic-Con International. 

In the decision made on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia said “the Court finds that this case stands out when compared to run of the mill trademark infringement cases”. 

San Diego Comic-Con was awarded attorneys’ fees and costs totaling $3,962,486.84.7 which includes $212,323.56 in expert costs.

The judge also ordered an injunction against Dan Farr Productions from the use of SDCC’s confusingly similar marks or any phonetic equivalents including derivatives such as ComicKon, ComiKon or anything similar in nature in the name of any comic or popular arts convention or event or in connection with the “promotion, advertising, products or marketing of any comic or popular arts convention or event”.

Additionally DFP is not allowed to use in similar names or derivatives on social media and cannot refer themselves as “formerly known as Salt Lake Comic Con”. They are also not allowed to use www.saltakecomiccon.com as a forwarding address to www.fanxsaltlake.com. 

The judge told DFP that they did not have to destroy any prior merchandise or marketing materials for “historical archives” but are not allowed to “sell, distribute, donate, give away, reproduce, republish, display, depict or make any commercial use of any of these “archival materials.”

FanX issued a statement regarding the judgment: “We do not expect a $4 million attorney fee award predicated on a $20,000 jury verdict to survive appellate review. We have instructed our attorneys to begin working on an appeal to the Ninth Circuit—while we prepare for what we expect to be our best event ever, starting September 6.”

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