all the go logos

At Least the Disney Lawyers Can’t Win Everything: I thought that the Go Network logo had changed recently, and I remembered a flap about GoTo.Com suing Go Network (Disney) for trademark infringement. GoTo.Com first used their logo in December 1997; Disney started the beta test of the Go Network, with the logo, in December 1998. In November of last year, a judge prohibited Disney from continuing to use the logo, but the injunction was suspended quickly pending a three-judge panel ruling (and in the face of a complaint by Disney that it would cost them $40 million to change it, like anyone feels sorry for them). The ruling came down on January 28th, reinstating the injunction against Disney. (Above, the leftmost logo is GoTo.Com, the middle is the Go Network’s old logo, and the rightmost is the new one.)

In reading the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in GoTo.Com v. Disney, it strikes me how sleazy Disney was in their attempt to get to continue using the logo.

  • Disney claimed that GoTo.Com wasn’t really harmed, seeing as they are doing well as a company (something completely irrelevant to a trademark dispute);
  • Disney submitted their logo to the Patent and Trademark Office in black-and-white, rather than color, and then tried to convince the court with the fact that the PTO didn’t see a similarity in the logos;
  • Disney argued that GoTo.Com lost their ability to sue when they waited until July 1999 to request an injunction, when in fact, Disney had entered into talks with GoTo.Com over the logo in February 1999 with a binding agreement that Disney could not raise the issue of a delayed injunction;
  • Disney claimed that GoTo.Com altered its logo to make it more like the Go Network one in an attempt to win the suit (most people who remember the days before Disney’s Internet presence know this to be untrue);
  • Disney argued that it would be extremely difficult for them to change their logo, when in fact, they managed to implement a change to their whole website for the two days between the original injunction and the suspension of the injunction.

Maybe some of this is typical for civil defense arguments, but it’s still pretty sleazy.


The two logos do look similar but since GoTo has now changed its name to Overture I doubt there will be any more problems.

• Posted by: Topic Link on Jul 16, 2003, 7:32 PM
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