Pierce O'Donnel, an attorney for search engine GoTo, said he deposed Disney chairman Michael Eisner today but declined to provide details. "It was a confidential deposition. I'd talk about it if I could," said O'Donnell, a Los Angeles attorney known for taking on Hollywood studios.
Eisner provided his deposition, in which he was required to answer questions under penalty of perjury, just a few days after GoTo filed a motion seeking a temporary order forbidding Disney from using its logo of a green traffic light and the word "Go" in the middle. If granted, the injunction would be in place pending a final outcome of the case.
GoTo filed the motion under court seal, meaning that it is not available to the public. "We are trying to enjoin [Disney's] use of a strikingly similar logo," said O'Donnell, who declined to further discuss the motion, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
A hearing on the motion is scheduled for August 9, a GoTo spokesman said. A Disney spokeswoman said the company could not comment on pending legal matters.
In February, GoTo sued Disney for trademark infringement, alleging that the logo the company used to promote its Go network was substantially similar to its own, which features the words "Go To" in the center of a green circle surrounded by a yellow background. GoTo says it introduced its logo more than a year before the Disney mark.
Although it is unusual for top executives to be deposed, the practice is not unheard of. One of the best known examples in recent memory is the deposition of Microsoft chief executive Bill Gates in his company's high-profile antitrust battle with the Justice Department. Former Intel chief executive Andy Grove was also deposed in a case his company recently settled with the Federal Trade Commission.
Eisner was selected because Disney listed him as one of the people "most knowledgeable" about the origins of the Go logo, a GoTo spokesman told CNET News.com recently. GoTo also has cited a December article in The New York Times saying that Eisner personally chose the logo.