A five-year legal battle between two apparel companies over the use of different crocodile logos in China was finally settled on Thursday.

France-based La Chemise Lacoste SA and Hong Kong-headquartered Crocodile Garments have been arguing since 1998 over the use of their lizard logos in the lucrative Asian market.

The settlement will see Crocodile Garments stop selling fashions featuring its crocodile in mainland China by 2006 at which point it will replace the reptile with a croc with a curly tail and circled.

"We reached an agreement in a Beijing court today," commented Crocodile Garments executive director Matthew Lam. "Lacoste will drop the infringement action against us."