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Judge denies Disney bid to block injunction

Bond will not be increased

GoTo.com won another legal round Tuesday when a federal judge denied a request by the Walt Disney Co. for a stay of an injunction that requires the Mouse House to immediately stop using its Go.com green and yellow traffic light logo.

The judge also refused Disney’s request to increase the bond GoTo.com filed Monday from $25,000 to $20 million.

Disney did, however, get some relief because the court accepted a proposal by GoTo.com to modify the injunction to make it less onerous.

Under the new order, signed by U.S. District Court Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. Tuesday, Disney is allowed to phase out over 60 days existing printed, film, videotape and other materials with the Go Network logo.

The revised order, however, still requires Disney to remove the logo immediately from all Internet sites and broadcast television networks.

On Monday, Disney told Judge Hatter that the cost of compliance with his order to remove the logo would be $40 million. But sources told Daily Variety that under the new order, the costs of removing the logo are now down to about $2 million.

Disney still has an emergency appeal of Judge Hatter’s order pending in the 9th Circuit, but especially given the modification, it is a long shot that it will get any relief.

GoTo.com attorney Pierce O’Donnell said, “All of Disney’s claimed damage was easily avoidable. This is a self-inflicted wound. Disney knew about our logo long before they launched the Go network but cavalierly went forward with hundreds of millions of dollars of promotion for the new Go network logo.”

GoTo.com, the Pasadena-based Internet startup, sued Disney and its joint-venture partner Infoseek, in February 1999 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles charging that Disney’s Go Network used a logo that was confusingly similar to the logo that GoTo.com had been using since 1997.

Disney’s acquisition of Infoseek is expected to close this week.

Last Friday, Judge Hatter issued a preliminary injunction ordering Disney to cease using the logo. The injunction went into effect Monday after GoTo.com post a $25,000 bond to compensate Disney for any damages should the court ultimately rule that the injunction was unwarranted.

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