Press Release: Salt Lake Comic Con’s First Amendment Rights are Protected as Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects San Diego Comic-Con’s Effort to Restrict Them, Lifts Gag Order and Vacates Sanctions

Federal District Court vacates earlier “suppression” orders limiting Salt Lake Comic Con’s freedom of speech


SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–  Today Salt Lake Comic Con ( that the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit protected its First Amendment rights by lifting a gag order imposed on them at the urging of San Diego Comic Convention.

Click here to see a full copy of the Ninth Circuit’s decision.

Nearly three years ago, San Diego Comic Convention—producer of Comic-Con International: San Diego—filed a lawsuit against Salt Lake Comic Con, claiming that San Diego Comic Convention owns the term “comic con” in all of its forms. Salt Lake Comic Con denied the charge because “comic con” is a generic term that says what its event is, similar to “car show “ or “boat show” and is used by hundreds of events across the United States. The two parties have not been able to reach a settlement and the case goes to trial at the end of November.

Many other comic cons in other locations use the term ‘comic con’ to describe their shows. As the appeals court noted in its decision, “The case has drawn nationwide attention and discussion on traditional and social media alike, in part because ‘comic cons’ have been held in hundreds of venues across the United States.”

Click here to see the full copy of the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling.

“We’re pleased with this ruling and are committed to protecting ourselves, our fans, and other comic cons around the country,” said Dan Farr, Salt Lake Comic Con Founder and Show Producer. “Our hope is for a speedy and amicable resolution so we can focus all of our efforts and resources into putting on the best events possible for the fans of all comic con events.”

“We’ve felt all along that this case is unwarranted and are pleased the Federal Court decision restored our First Amendment rights for free speech,” said Bryan Brandenburg, Salt Lake Comic Con Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer. “We appreciate the support we have received from the comic con community and continue to believe that all comic cons throughout the country should respect each other’s right to exist and cooperate for the greater good of comic and pop culture fans worldwide. We will be launching a crowdsourcing campaign later this month to raise additional legal funds for the case, produce a documentary, and to continue to build solidarity with other comic con promoters and their fans.”

The crowdsourcing campaign will raise additional legal fees to ensure a victory at jury trial at the end of the month and prepare for a potential appeal. More news about this initiative will be forthcoming on the Salt Lake Comic Con website and social media pages (…)


CLICK HERE to read entire press release