We have just received the good news that the www.Eco-Labs.org vs. www.ecolab.com case at the National Arbitration Forum has been decided in our favour. Ten pages of legal case work conclude with the statement: ‘Accordingly, it is ordered that the <eco-labs.org> domain name has to REMAIN WITH Respondent.’ In light of this decision, we expect that Ecolab.com (the $5bn chemical cleaning and pest extermination company) will stop harassing us. We have more important matters to address than legal battles over our name. I am grateful to the dozens of people who contributed to the the funding appeal to help pay the lawyer’s bill. Thanks to Jim Killock at the Open Rights Group for convincing me that people would care and it was possible to ask for help.
There are a couple website geniuses that came to our aid when the site mysteriously went down in the middle of this whole episode. Thanks Ian Green and Phil Isaac; if you had not swooped in, the arbitration forum would not have been able to see www.eco-labs.org and the entire case could have been lost. Also thanks to our lawyer Rowland Buehrlen for a good defense and subsidised legal fees. No corporation has the right to claim exclusive rights on any words in common use. It might be only a small victory, but it’s an important principle; common words must be open to common use!