Worm poop barons avoid a legal mess

Tom Szaky has managed to settle a suit from his major rival
SUZANNE TAYLOR | October 22, 2007 |
Everything was going well for TerraCycle, the small eco-friendly start-up that makes plant food and fertilizer out of worm waste and packages it in recycled pop bottles. Until it got slapped with a lawsuit by competitor Scotts Co. in March, that is. “We were shocked and worried,” says TerraCycle’s spokesman, Albe Zakes. “When the largest company in your industry sues you, you’ve made a very powerful enemy.” Scotts had complained that TerraCycle’s green and yellow packaging looked too similar to their own Miracle-Gro brand, and that TerraCycle was making false claims about the superiority of their products over synthetic brands — claims that Zakes says were based on research conducted at Rutgers University for the New Jersey-based company. When TerraCycle refused to hand over the research findings to their rival, Scotts took the matter to the courts.

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