[Photo from 2018 by Derek Berg]
There’s no place like a courtroom for the holidays.
A pub crawl promoter, named as Eddie Miller in public documents and published reports, filed suit Friday in a Manhattan Federal Court seeking control over the SantaCon.org internet domain and its trademark registration.
Law360 has the details:
Miller's suit targets a business called Participatory Safety Inc., claiming its "SantaCon" mark is invalid and seeking an order that it may not assert control over domain names such as santacon.com and santacon.net.
"SantaCon is a descriptive, if not generic, term," the suit says. Miller also claims for damages, saying his business interests have been unlawfully disrupted.
According to Miller's suit, the defendant registered the domain name santacon.nyc in 2015, then applied for the SantaCon mark the following year, for use at "charitable fundraising" events.
Not long after that, persons unknown to Miller begin telling city pub owners that they were the "official SantaCon," says the suit, which presumably will attempt to name additional defendants.
"Whoever spoke to the bars told them not to do business with plaintiffs," according to the suit. In late 2016, persons unknown to Miller then emailed pubs, falsely calling him an impostor, according to the suit.
That year, a person going by the alias Kristopher Kringle attempted to force bar owners to pay him $400 per bar to allow SantaCon crawlers to enter their establishments, the suit says. That person, the suit says, is part of the defendant company's "smear campaign."
"Defendants' malicious acts have caused and continue to injure plaintiffs' ability to sell tickets to their SantaCon events all over the United States," the complaint says.
The suit also sheds light on the driving forces behind SantaCon, which Ben Yakas at Gothamist describes as the "city's stupidest annual event, a cultural void that provides an excuse for binge drinkers and obnoxious bros to let their alcoholism fly in public, all under the thin veneer of charity."
The Daily News listed the plaintiffs as Miller, Digital Marketing & Events, USMarketing.com and Damon's List.
For future reference: The case is Miller et al. v. Participatory Safety Inc. et al., case number 1:19-cv-06994, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Meanwhile, here's the NYC date for SantaCon 2019...
H/T Carol from East 5th Street!