Ryder, Budget Settle Trademark Lawsuit

MIAMI -- Ryder System, which in March filed a lawsuit against Budget Group for trademark infringement, announced the company has reached an out-of-court settlement with Budget. At issue was Budget's continued use of the Ryder name to identify the "yellow truck" fleet, which Ryder System sold off in 1996.

As a result of the settlement, Budget will immediately stop using the Ryder name in all marketing, advertising and signage. Budget also agreed to accelerate the removal of the Ryder name from all existing yellow trucks beginning in January 2003. The entire fleet will be free of the Ryder name by the end of 2004. The settlement also awards Ryder $1.25 million.

"We are pleased with the settlement, which returns the Ryder brand to our current lines of business -- commercial transportation and logistics services worldwide," said Gregory T. Swienton, Ryder’s chairman, president and CEO.

Ryder sold its consumer yellow truck rental division in 1996. Those business operations were subsequently purchased by Budget and operated under the name "Ryder TRS," in accordance with a trademark license agreement.

But in March 2002, Ryder sought to terminate the agreement and filed suit in federal court, alleging breach of contract and violations of state and federal law.

Ryder’s settlement agreement with Budget is aimed at ending brand confusion in the marketplace, Ryder said.

Cendant's recent purchase of Budget will not affect the settlement.

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