Firms declare a truce over logo and launch war on mainland piracy The battle of the crocs has finally come to an end. Hong Kong retailer Crocodile Garments has reached an agreement with France's Lacoste over a patent infringement lawsuit that has consumed the two companies' energies for a decade. The two companies announced yesterday that they had declared a truce and would join efforts against a larger enemy - mainland pirates. 'I feel relieved to finally walk out of a miserable decade of lawsuits. Now we can deal with piracy and develop our business,' Crocodile Garments deputy chief executive Sunny Ching said. Under the settlement, the Hong Kong firm has agreed to modify the crocodile logo it has sewn on its shirts since 1952. Specifically, it will reduce the curvature of its crocodile's tail to avoid confusion with the French company's global trademark. Crocodile Garments will also refrain from using the colour green on its logo to reduce the two crocodiles' similarity, and will not seek to expand the brand beyond China, Hong Kong and Macau. In 1980, the French company granted Crocodile Garments exclusive rights to its logo for distribution of Lacoste goods in Hong Kong. In return, Lacoste held the rights to the crocodile emblem outside Hong Kong. But Lacoste later claimed Crocodile Garments breached that agreement when it registered a crocodile emblem 'confusingly similar' to Lacoste's in China, Britain and Denmark. Lacoste's version of the logo is a curled green crocodile with its head facing right, while Crocodile Garments' emblem faces left. Crocodile Garments' new brand is expected to debut in the middle of next year, although the company has been given until March 2006 to sell out inventories of its old croc. Crocodile Garments has 900 branches on the mainland and plans to open 700 more by 2006.