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Competing Trolley Tours Settle Trademark Clash

SAVANNAH, Ga. (CN) - Two competing trolley tour operators in this historic city have reached a confidential settlement of their cross-claims of trademark infringement and interference with business relations.

In July, Old Savannah Tours sued Kelly Tours Inc., claiming that by using white trolley cars to ferry tourists around the city's historic neighborhoods, Kelly Tours had co-opted the image it had fostered over three decades.

In its complaint, Old Savannah Tours said it had "expended substantial time, money and other resources" to advertise and promote their brand, and as a result, its white trolley color scheme is "widely recognized and exclusively associated in the minds of consumers and tourism industry professionals" with Old Savannah Tours; people often simply refer to them as "the white trolleys."

On August 18, 2015, Kelly Tours filed a counterclaim, stating that as required by city ordinance, it had sought approval of a red, white and blue color scheme for its buses, but that Old Savannah Tours, allegedly hoping to squelch competition, used its influence to have Kelly Tours' request rejected by the tour city review committee, effectively blocking it from doing business.

The parties filed a joint stipulation for dismissal last week, and it was approved by U.S. District Judge William Moore, Jr., who dismissed the original lawsuit with prejudice, and the counterclaim as moot.

Each party will bear its own costs and attorney fees. Representatives of the parties could not be reached for comment.

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