Pop culture conventions are in a resurgence across North America with what seems to be dozens of added shows in the last year. Well, it looks like some of those cons will not be fighting it out in who has the best guests, coolest exclusives and biggest attendance. Hobby Star Marketing, who handle the Toronto Fan Expo Convention, have filed an injunction against Zuffa LLC, which operates the Ultimate Fighting Championship league (UFC), and Reed Exhibitions over the name of Zuffa’s upcoming event, UFC Fan Expo. That show is taking place in Toronto this weekend which also hosts the latest UFC pay-per-view event, UFC 128 which features some high profile fights including legend Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida and a title belt fight featuring headliners Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields.
Hobby Star has filed a trade-mark infringement over the use of the term “fan expo” as well as the slogan “the ultimate fan experience.” They’ve also taken issue with the website www.ufcexpon.com. The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Toronto. The UFC has held other events with the words “fan expo” throughout the world. There’s no mention of those in this suit.
Zuffa is the primary defendant while Reed Exhibitions as the organizer is also mentioned. What makes this more interesting is Reed Exhibitions puts together the New York Comic Con and New York Anime Festival. Both of which could be seen as a competitor to Hobby Star’s Fan Expo. Could this really just be bad blood between two comic book conventions?
Who knows how serious this is and how far in the courts it’ll go. My gut tells me there’s more to this than a complaint over two words. In the end, maybe one will give up in the fight and tap out?