Habitat Lawsuit

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Fired Habitat for Humanity president Millard Fuller says he may drop the Habitat name from his new homebuilding charity to avoid a costly legal battle.

The Alabama native founded Habitat for Humanity International and ran it for three decades. He was fired January 31st after more than a year of tension sparked by allegations that he sexually harassed a female colleague. Habitat's board concluded there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the charge, and Fuller started a new group called "Building Habitat" to raise money for building house for the poor.

Habitat International filed a federal lawsuit May tenth saying that Fuller's use of the word Habitat would infringe on Habitat for Humanity's trademarks and could hurt the group's reputation and confuse prospective donors.

Fuller said yesterday that he considers the word "Habitat" to be generic, but he may avoid using it in his new group's name so that neither side wastes money in a legal battle. Fuller said he will announce his decision Saturday during the official opening of the headquarters for his new group in Americus, Georgia, only about two miles from Habitat's international headquarters.