Oh look, someone’s actually taking legal action against the UFC for a change. Comic Book Resources is reporting that Hobby Star Marketing, who operates the Toronto Fan Expo Convention has filed an injunction against Zuffa over the use of the phrase “Fan Expo” for the UFC’s convention show in Toronto this weekend.
In the federal court statement obtained by CBR News, Hobby Star has filed for trade-mark infringement on the name “Fan Expo” as well as the slogan “The Ultimate Fan Experience” and the web domain www.ufcfanexpo.com. The papers were filed in a Toronto federal court and make no mention of previous UFC events labeled as “Fan Expos” such as a London, England event last summer, nor do they mention anything about the company’s potential plans for a Fan Expo in Las Vegas this summer. This is likely because Hobby Star only have the “Fan Expo” trademark registered within Canada.
The document reveals that Hobby Star seeks an injunction against promoting or selling anything involving the mark and slogan as well as an order to “deliver up or destroy upon oath all clothing, goods labels, packages, advertising materials, signage, printed matter, including all plats, moulds, matrices, and other material for producing or printing such items and any other matter or materials in print or electric form” that fall under the offending names. Additionally, in its case Hobby Star cites the fact that a Reed employee named John McGeary was formerly associated with Fan Expo Canada in some capacity and therefore had knowledge of the trade-mark’s use in Canada.
BE’s Brent Brookhouse speculates that they chose to file the injunction the week of the event to minimize the time Zuffa would have to find a legal workaround. It’s kind of a dirty trick, but seems like a sound strategy.
I’m no lawyer, but I seriously doubt this will shut down the UFC Fan Expo this weekend. Maybe they’ll end up presenting it with a different name, but I don’t see Dana White and his pack of legal pitbulls backing down to a convention operator.