A federal judge has issued an injunction ordering the Walt Disney Co. to stop using the emblem for its Go.com Internet sites because the image resembles the one used by the similarly named GoTo.com search engine.
In December 1997, GoTo.com began using the logo of a green circle on a yellow background with the letters "GoTo" in white. In January of this year, Disney began using a logo of a green traffic light in a yellow case with "Go" written in white to link its various Web sites under the Go Network heading.
The following month, GoTo.com sued Disney and Infoseek Corp., the entertainment company's Internet partner, saying the Go Network emblem confuses consumers. U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter agreed Friday, issuing a preliminary injunction that forces Disney to change its logo.
Disney has spent millions of dollars advertising the Go Network logo since it was created in January. The traffic-light image appears on numerous Disney products and advertising, including movie trailers, theme-park Web sites, and promotions for television networks ESPN and ABC.
Disney officials said they will fight to retain the company's original logo when the matter goes to trial next spring.
The judge said GoTo.com has demonstrated that its claim is merited and that confusion with Disney's logo will cause the firm to "suffer irreparable harm." Despite the similar titles of the Web sites, GoTo.com argued only against the resemblance of the logos, not against the name Go Network.