SALT LAKE CITY — In a new court filing, the federal judge handling the trademark lawsuit between Salt Lake Comic Con and San Diego Comic-Con has ordered both sides into her chambers to discuss the idea of a settlement.
U.S. District Court Judge Jan Adler scheduled what is known as an “early neutral evaluation conference” in her chambers in federal court in San Diego to discuss the idea of settlement. Representatives from both comic cons who have decision-making authority to settle the lawsuit were told to be there.
“The individual(s) present at the Early Neutral Evaluation Conference with settlement authority must have the unfettered discretion and authority on behalf of the party to: 1) fully explore all settlement options and to agree during the Early Neutral Evaluation Conference to any settlement terms acceptable to the party… change the settlement position of a party during the course of the Early Neutral Evaluation Conference… and 3) negotiate a settlement without being restricted by any predetermined level of authority,” Judge Adler wrote.
Read the filing here:
Early Neutral Evaluation Conferences are part of California’s rules of civil procedure, prior to any case advancing to trial. The rules state that if no settlement is reached, the judge can order mediation or then set a schedule to prepare for trial.
San Diego Comic-Con sued the organizers of Salt Lake Comic Con, alleging they violated SDCC’s trademarks and copyrights by using the words “comic con” in marketing an promotions. Salt Lake Comic Con producers Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg fired back, insisting the words “comic con” are common enough and used by other similar events around the country.
Farr and Brandenburg have insisted they will not stop using the words “comic con” when referring to their event. The 2014 Salt Lake Comic Con had more than 100,000 attend, making it the largest convention in Utah.