The Houston Convention Bureau Has Filed a Restraining Order Against Space City Comic Con

So there’s a bit of a trademark kerfuffle going on down in the Houston convention scene. As we reported back in March, the Houston Convention Bureau is suing Space City Comic Con over their name. It seems that (while everything else in Houston gets to call itself Space City) the Bureau has a very specific trademark when it comes to conventions.

Normally this would be a pretty boring situation, except that Space City Comic Con has literally been using the name for years, and the Bureau has seemingly only decided to enforce their trademark now that they’ve become a major investor in competing show Comicpalooza.

So yeah, it may be within the Bureau’s legal rights, but it’s also super f**king douchey.

And they aren’t just looking to get Space City Comic Con to stop using the name – the Bureau is also seeking profits from all previous years that the convention was using the Space City name. If the Bureau wins, this could literally risk the future of Space City Comic Con going forward (which would heavily impact Houston’s tourism revenue).

But hey, who ever said the Houston Convention Bureau gave a crap about conventions taking place in Houston?

The newest development in this ridiculous spat (which does literally nothing but make Comicpalooza look bad) is that the Convention Bureau has filed for a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent Space City Comic Con from using the name going forward. While it went in front of a judge yesterday afternoon, it has yet to be ruled on.

If granted, Space City Comic Con would have to immediately stop using the name they’ve had for years. As the con is only scheduled for a month from now, likely many materials have already been printed for the convention and redesigning and reprinting would likely be a large financial burden for the event.

Apparently no one told the Houston Convention Bureau that just because they can act like a bunch of douchecanoes doesn’t mean they should. I mean, it’s not like the Convention Bureau literally waited years to address this, and that waiting an extra month to deal with it wouldn’t kill them (and might help further local tourism revenue and the economy).

Oh, wait.

Update: It looks like Space City Comic Con gets to keep its name (for now) as a judge has chosen to not prevent them from using it this year.

Via Houston Chronicle

Trae Dorn

Trae Dorn has been staffing conventions for over twenty years, and is a co-founder of Wisconsin’s longest running Anime convention No Brand Con. Trae also wrote and drew the now completed webcomic UnCONventional, and produces the podcasts BS-Free Witchcraft, On This Day With Trae, Stormwood & Associates, and The Nerd & Tie Podcast. This leads many to ask when the hell they have time to actually do anything anymore. Trae says they have the time because they “do it all quite poorly.”

3 thoughts on “The Houston Convention Bureau Has Filed a Restraining Order Against Space City Comic Con

  • April 26, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Be careful you might get sued by these guys next for calling out their jerk moves

  • April 26, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    I’m no lawyer, but last I checked you need to consistently enforce intellectual property for it to stand in court. It’s why Vlogbrothers doesn’t copyright their merch. They want their fan base to be able to be creative with it. They either have to enforce it against their fans as well, or not enforce it. Since the convention bureau isn’t suing practically the whole city and never complained about it previously, I suspect they aren’t going to get far with it.

    • April 26, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      You’re mostly there.

      Trademarks and Patents need to be actively defended, copyrights still hold their weight if you don’t.


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