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One small hyphen is central to one large trademark lawsuit

We'll flat-out concede that Wikipedia features as a source in our blog post today, the first -- and likely last -- time we will use that Internet fount of information as a resource. Wikipedia is useful, but we certainly accept that it isn't generally a primary go-to site for authoritative data on many subjects.

However, relevant information on comic book conventions might just be an exception. We simply cite Wikipedia to note its take on San Diego Comic-Con International, which it states is an annual event that, while marked by humble beginnings decades ago, is now a comic book-plus convention "of pop culture and entertainment elements across virtually all genres."

Which means it's exceptionally popular and so much fun for so many people that various forms of the convention have cropped up in locales across the globe.

Rather than breeding camaraderie, that has resulted in what is essentially a trademark war focused on a hyphen, at least between the San Diego founding convention and a rival based in Utah.

Here's the deal. The San Diego convention founders own the trademark to "comic-con" (with that aforementioned hyphen).

And that's all they own, contends a recently birthed Salt Lake convention, which was granted trademark rights to the name Comic Con (no hyphen) by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

That didn't sit well in San Diego, where Comic-Con principals filed a lawsuit alleging infringement of their trademarked name. They claim they own all rights to the words "comic con" in every sense and derivation. Salt Lake counters that only the hyphenated version is protected.

Although some people might find such a dispute to be a bit arcane and numbing, its bottom line is important, indeed, since use rights are directly connected to profits, which are truly outsized where Comic-Con or Comic Con (OK, whatever; there are actually multiple usages globally) is concerned.

Reportedly, the San Diego and Salt Lake combatants have asked a judge for a bit more time to iron out their grievance informally.

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