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GoTo.com Wins Logo Injunction Against Disney, Infoseek

GoTo.com has won a preliminary injuction against the Walt Disney Co. and Infoseek which forces the two companies to stop using the Go.com name on their Go Network joint venture.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Terry J. Hatter, Jr. Friday granted GoTo.com, Inc.'s request that Disney (DIS), Infoseek (SEEK) and related companies drop the Go.com logo, which GoTo.com (GOTO) claims is too similar to its own name.The order takes effect Monday, when GoTo.com is expected to file a $25,000 bond.

The judge found that the similarity of the Go Networks name "has caused, and is likely to continue causing, confusion among consumers... and that as a result of this confusion, (GoTo.com) will suffer irreparable harm."

The judge prohibited use of the design mark or of variations until a full trial is presented. The pre-trial conference is scheduled for March of next year. Disney reportedly intends to fight the decision in appellate review.

"We are thrilled with this ruling. It helps us to eliminate the confusion created by the similarity of Disney's logo to our own," said Jeffrey Brewer, GoTo.com's chief executive officer. "The winners today are all of GoTo's customers - consumers, advertisers and affiliates."

GoTo.com sued Disney in February, accusing Disney of unlawfully adopting the name that the Go Network has been using since last December. Search engine and online marketer GoTo.com beat the Disney portal to the name by a year, adopting the name in December 1997.

Go Network is a joint venture between Infoseek and Disney established in February. The company last month added auctions to the portal, and plans to add more e-commerce services within the next six months.

As of Monday morning, the GO logo was still hanging in the corner of the Go Network site. If the GoTo.com lawsuit is successful, it will add more strife to Disney's online initiative woes, which include a revolving door of Internet executives.