Despite 'Comic-Con' name ruling, ABQ convention keeping its title | KOB 4
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Despite 'Comic-Con' name ruling, ABQ convention keeping its title

Caleb James
January 10, 2018 10:13 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A disturbance in the force has put an annual Albuquerque event in the balance. A late 2017 court ruling upheld San Diego's copyright regarding that now famous abbreviation "comic-con" as a shortened version of "comic convention." 

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However, Albuquerque's convention plans to use the name anyway. 

Call it a rebel uprising. Call it sticking to your stun guns. 

Each year since 2011, fans of comic books and cartoons have shown up to the Albuquerque Convention Center to celebrate together. Despite a federal ruling that "Comic-Con" belongs to San Diego, organizers in the Duke City say they're pretty sure it's cool to keep using it.

"It's our eighth year now. Every year we get bigger and bigger," said Albuquerque Comic Con organizer and promoter Jim Burleson. "This year, we have Chandler Riggs from the Walking Dead."

Burleson's event draws big-time actors and major vendors to the 505. Thousands are expected to descend on Albuquerque Comic Con this year.

"Comic convention -- it's abbreviated 'convention,'" Burleson said. 

In the 1970s, San Diego's own convention coined that abbreviation. It's been no big deal for decades with hundreds of other "comic-cons" popping up around the country. 

"It really is just a very generic household name," Burleson said. "The problem started when Salt Lake City Comic-Con wrapped a car with a similar logo, with Salt Lake City Comic-Con and drove it to San Diego. San Diego said 'If you do that, we're going to have an issue.'" 

And an issue there was. A federal jury decided "comic-con" belonged to San Diego. But Burleson said Salt Lake's misstep was larger than using a name. It was about attempting to assume the famous San Diego event's identity.

For that reason, Albuquerque Comic Con will continue without a name change. 

"If we got a cease and desist, we would send basically a 'see you in court' letter,'" Burleson said. "But we're not trying to tell anyone that we're related to San Diego. We're just also a comic-con. So, Albuquerque Comic Con is a standalone entity in that we exist and thrive in our own local community."

KOB reached out to an e-mail address for San Diego Comic-Con press inquiries late Wednesday evening asking if the local convention is safe to use the name. That e-mail was not answered.

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Caleb James

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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