Developer Donald J. Trump, whose lawyers often are busy fighting unauthorized attempts to use his name, has agreed to endorse a line of photographic business cards made by a small Georgia company that he had sued for calling the product "Trump Cards."
Under an out-of-court settlement announced Wednesday, Trump was given the rights to the "Trump Cards" trademark and will license Positive Concepts Ltd. of Lithia Springs, Ga., to market the product. Trump will receive a monthly royalty.
Trump agreed to drop his suit against PCL, a suburban Atlanta company that began making the cards in 1983. The company, whose trademark application last year prompted Trump's lawsuit, contends that it named its product for the high-ranking suit in a card game.
PCL President Edward A. Zito said Wednesday that the settlement was good for both sides. He said his company avoided a potentially lengthy and expensive court battle and got an unusual endorsement from Trump that should boost the fortunes of his business.
Advertisements featuring Trump's endorsement will begin appearing in national business magazines this spring, Zito said.
Neither Zito nor Joe Silver, a spokesman for the Trump Organization in New York, would say how much money Trump would receive in royalties.
Zito said the path to the settlement began last summer when he called Trump to discuss the suit.
"He was cordial but stood his ground," Zito said. "I said, 'You know, we didn't try to steal your name from you. In 1983, nobody knew of you.' "
Zito said he sent Trump a sample of the cards and suggested that the issue be settled out of court. Trump liked the cards, Zito said, and negotiations began.