Hobbystar Challenges UFC over the use of FanExpo

Looks like it is Geek vs Muscle as Canada’s biggest convention for Sci-Fi/Comic/Gaming/Horror/Anime – FanExpo – has issued a challenge to the brutal hand to hand combat world of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

But this particular challenge won’t be in a ring. It will be in the court of law.

Hobbystar’s FanExpo is pretty sure that UFC Fan Expo is stepping on a little thing called Trademark infringement.

CBR Reports:

Hobby Star Marketing – operators of the Toronto Fan Expo convention – have filed an injunction against Zuffa LLC – the operators of the Ultimate Fighting Championship league – and convention company Reed Exhibitions over the name of this upcoming weekend’s “UFC Fan Expo” show in Toronto.

Hobbystar hasn’t gone after the UFC events in other countries as they only hold the tradmark for FanExpo in Canada.

Other concerns arose around the various events in other geek conventions that use “Comic Con” moniker, but with so many happening and Comic-Con International ceded their right to challenge the use of the word after decades of the term labeling similar conventions without contestation.

But at the end of the day, Hobbystar has a case. They do own the tradmark for FanExpo, and UFC is clearly using that title to brand their events. To make matters worse, the slogan for Hobbystar’s FanExpo is “The Ultimate Fan Experience” – also part of the trademark.

Guess what the UFC Fan Expo claims of it’s events?

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9 thoughts on “Hobbystar Challenges UFC over the use of FanExpo

  1. Has Zuffa/UFC Complained about having to change the name of their event for this to become a lawsuit or are Hobbystar just looking to get something out of this? I mean it’s pretty obvious that they know it’s going to take money for UFC to re-advertise the entire event …It’s a shame for UFC as for them this hasn’t just happened; UFC have been having these all over the world! But this is what their marketing directors should be getting paid to find out. Just a shame as the content of the expo’s are completely different and that it’s had to become worldwide news which could have been handled more accordingly

    1. The “content” might be different but the presentation is very much the same.

      It is a large scale convention style event where you can attend an event with other fans of the property, buy merch, and see celebrities.

      Not to mention that their slogan is “The Ultimate Fan Experience” which also happens to be Hobbystar’s trademarked slogan for their FanExpo.

      UFC can have these events. No one is stopping them, and its not illegal to hold these events using this name and slogan where they are not already trademark of another large scale convention style event.

      Its not an issue of subject matter. These are very similar events at their core, and in Canada, the name FanExpo and that slogan very much belong to an organization.

      1. So it pretty much is just a matter of calling it “UFC Fan Exposé” …give me 5 mins and a few permanent markers and then bingo – no lawsuit :)

      2. Despite the sarcasm you say it with… YES!

        The injunction is that they are violating a registered and legal trademark and that their event infringes on the publicity and marketing of the FanExpo by calling their event the same thing.

        Changing the name of the event (at least in Canada) would comply with the injunction against them.

        If they marketed this as UFC-Con or ANYTHING else – despite being called FanExpo in all the other nations – this would be a non-issue to the Hobbystar people.

    2. haha it wasn’t really sarcasm but more my musings of a potential job. I will save the UFC time and potential lawsuits with my markers, and in return I’d only need a few thousand and front row seats to their next UK PPV’s — Rodney set this up for me and I’ll give you a cut of the money!

      I was thinking of other events similar to this and realised the WWE has these types of things but calls it WWE Axxess so they have the rights to the Expo anywhere they go. Hopefully UFC will learn from this and give it a cool name, even if it was to change the whole “fan” part of it as I know WWE reffers to it’s fans as the ‘WWE Universe’ the UFC could go down a similar route with ‘Warriors, Titans, Gladiator’ etc. then Copyright the (for example) TitansExpo …oh for a funny spin call it “Thaitans Expo” – like Muay Thai

  2. I’m sure it was just an oversight considering that the UFC has been using it in many countries around the world. Fan Expo was waiting until they used it in Canada and then they try and spring a law suit on them. Kind of shady if you ask me.

    Regardless, its not like the name is that important to the UFC. They simply use it because it descriptively makes sense. Annoying how they would have to get a trademark for their expo in every country they held an event at.

    UFC deals with wannabe law suits all the time, it will blow over without any issue.

    1. This is not a “wannabe lawsuit”. They have grounds for the complaint. UFC did not perform their due diligence and have willingly entered a violation of trademark.

      This isn’t “shady” and waiting around for them to do it. They didn’t have grounds to complain about the use of FanExpo in other countries because they do not hold the trademark and copyright in those countries.

      It wasn’t an issue UNTIL UFC announced a FanExpo in Canada. They were not “waiting for it”. It happened and Hobbystar reacted.

      As they should.

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