The respective giants of equipment and entertainment, Caterpillar and Walt Disney Co., have settled a half-year-long trademark infringement lawsuit. The terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed.
Both companies say they have reached an "amicable resolution" in the settlement that U.S. District Judge John Gorman approved on March 11. The two firms have partnered together on multiple occasions in the past, such as Disney's "imagineering" in the design of Caterpillar's eye-catching exhibition booth at the Las Vegas CONEXPO show in 1987.
Last fall, Peoria, Ill.-based Cat sought a temporary restraining order to enjoin an Oct. 21, 2003, direct-to-video release of "George of the Jungle 2" against co-defendants Disney and Buena Vista Home Entertainment Inc., Burbank, Calif. (ENR 10/27/03 p. 60). Cat alleged that approximately eight minutes of the 87-minute animated comedy, which depicts Cat bulldozers operated by jungle-razing bullies, violated its trademark and posed "irreparable harm" to Cat's $23-billion manufacturing business as well as its environmental public image.
Chief U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade denied the motion on Oct. 20, noting that brand images appearing in movies is a common phenomenon and likely causes only "slight" harm to trademark owners.