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In brief

Copyright: easyGroup sues music group

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easyGroup © All rights reserved

The standoff pits British music group Easy Life against easyGroup, the company founded by Monegasque resident and billionaire Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

The bone of contention: the group’s name, and more specifically the use of the term “easy”.

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The musicians recognise that it is a legal battle they “could never afford.”

We’ve worked hard to establish our brand and [we are] certain in no way have we ever affected their business (…)” reads a message posted on their social media account.

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easyGroup, the owner of easyJet, reacted by issuing a press release explaining the legal approach to the court case. “easyGroup owns more than 1,000 registered trademarks including a trademark for the word ‘easy’,” the company says.

And it is true that from easyJet to easyHotel, via easyCar, easySim, easyBoat and easyMoney, the group has continued to expand and the companies concerned pay for the right to use the “easy” name.

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Merchandise inspired by easyJet

Mr Matravers needs to understand that he is not being sued by an airline. It should be clearly noted easyJet as a company is not part of the legal action. However, easyGroup, acts regularly in order to protect consumers from being confused by brand thieves and prevent “passing off”. To do this easyGroup Ltd has a legal budget of £4m per year with which to take action against brand thieves, big and small. Brand theft is profitable because it is the deliberate misleading of the consumer to think that they are part of the easy family in order to increase their own sales. It is not an innocent mistake, but a deliberate strategy to maximise their profits without being subject to easyGroup Ltd’s quality controls and without paying their annual royalties,” the communiqué continues.

easyGroup also states that Easy Life has gone so far as to copy easyJet to market its merchandise, including images of aircraft and a font that is similar to the airline’s. “Not only does this take unfair advantage of easyGroup’s brand but it can also damage it as. For example, negative PR about Matravers (for example having to be carried off stage for being too drunk to perform), can reflect badly on easyGroup. Confusion is not necessary for such tarnishment to occur,” the company says.

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easyGroup also accuses Easy Life of using visual elements that are similar to easyJet for its spin-off products © All rights reserved

It also regrets that Easy Life “has also tried to develop the story that this is a “David vs Goliath” and somehow the “little guy” has the right to use any name he likes because he can’t afford lawyers. It needs to be clearly understood that Mr Matravers and his band are signed up to Universal Music, one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world. Even if they were a small business, which they are not, easyGroup Ltd has to take legal action now to stop them from growing their deceit. Small brand thieves left unchallenged become big brand thieves and a major source of confusion for the consumer.”