A disappointed Mouse House is grudgingly obeying a judge’s order to pull Go.com’s green and yellow traffic light logo from its properties, saying that in doing so it may lose $40 million in branding efforts.
Despite a ruling on Friday that its Go.com logo must be retired as it is too similar to that of competing Web search engine GoTo.com, causing confusion among consumers, Disney still had the logo plastered across its properties, including each of its Web sites and at the end of its television shows on ABC and cablers including ESPN during most of Monday.
By the end of the day, the logo was being replaced by a new logo, featuring the Go.com moniker in green letters across a white rectangle. Promotional tags were also pulled from TV programming by primetime. It was not, however, replaced on the Go.com site by the end of the business day.
Disney wants delay
As expected (Daily Variety, Nov. 15), Disney tried to counter the preliminary injunction issued by Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. by filing an emergency application Monday requesting that he grant a 60-day stay and raise GoTo.com’s $25,000 bond to $20 million. The Mouse House claims that if forced to lose the logo, it will be hit with $40 million in damages, said sources close to the case.
Disney and Infoseek are said to have spent that much to plaster the logo on everything from mousepads and hockey scoreboards to TV spots and billboards.
GoTo.com’s lawyers opposed Disney’s application, saying it would allow Disney to phase out its marketing product (homevids, coffee cups, mousepads, T-shirts, etc.) featuring the logo until Jan. 15, but would not allow the company to use it anymore on the Web or on television — “the prime commercial venue in which (GoTo.com and Go.com) compete head-to-head.”
Not surprisingly, the Pasadena-based company also opposed raising the amount of the bond.
Sources close to the companies said that Disney had the opportunity to settle the logo dispute in early October but decided to pull out two days before signing an agreement, opting instead to flex its corporate muscle.
GoTo.com filed the $25,000 bond on Monday; the judge’s ruling went into effect at that time.
Disney declined to comment but maintained that it still does not plan to change the Go Network name. Disney has the chance to officially appeal the ruling in March.
GoTo.com first began using its green logo in 1997. Go.com was launched as a co-venture with Web portal Infoseek in 1998. GoTo.com first sued the company in February.
Disney’s acquisition of Infoseek is expected to close this week.