Easy life: Band say easyJet owner suing over name

1 month ago 65

Easy life

Image caption,

Easy life said it might have to change its name due to the threat of legal action

By Will Jefford and Dan Martin

BBC News

A band has said they are being forced to change their name by the owners of easyJet, who have started legal action against them.

Easy life said the airline's parent company easyGroup was suing them because their name was too similar.

The Leicester band said they were certain they had never affected the company's business.

EasyGroup said it would be "unfair" to let the band use the "easy" brand name without royalty payments.

In a statement on social media, easy life said the band were being sued because of the similarity of their name to the company.

"We've worked hard to establish our brand. I'm certain in no way have we ever affected their business," the band said.

"Although we find this whole situation hilarious, we are virtually powerless against such a massive corporation."

Image source, Easy Life

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Documents filed with the High Court featured a poster for the band's tour

In its claim lodged with the High Court, easyGroup said the band had promoted their Life's a beach tour, in 2021 and 2022, with a poster showing a plane in the style of easyJet's orange livery but substituting the airline's name with its own.

The company also said the band had produced t-shirts bearing their name in the firm's branded style and their website infringed its trademark with its similarity to easyJet branding.

The document stated: "By wrongly creating a link with the claimant, the defendant benefits from an association with that positive view and vast brand recognition, regardless of whether the link was intended to be provocative or humorous."

It said the band was "riding on the coat tails of the valuable reputation" of the company's brand, adding it was "not presently able to estimate the financial value of this claim, but considers that it will be substantial".


EasyGroup said other companies - including one of the UK's largest catalogue retailers, also called Easylife - paid for the use of its brand name.

A spokesperson added: "Stelios [Haji-Ioannou] and easyGroup founded and now own the right to the easy brand name.

"Other companies, including Easylife [the catalogue company], pay annual royalties for its use as part of their business strategy.

"We cannot allow others to simply use it free, gratis and for nothing. That would be unfair."

Image source, Reuters

Image caption,

EasyGroup own more than 100 companies, including airline easyJet

Leanne Hall, trademark specialist at Serjeants in Leicester, said easyGroup had a history of taking "a lot of action" to protect its brand.

"EasyGroup has done a lot of work around the word easy and building up their reputation of it," she told BBC Radio Leicester.

"It's one of those David vs Goliath fights which always gets the media interested because it's almost not fair that this is happening, but because of their reputation that does mean that they almost have some rights in just the word 'easy'.

"It doesn't mean they'll be successful, but they have the reputation to try and do it."

The easyGroup has previously taken legal action against a number of companies over the use of the "easy" brand.

In 2008, a Northampton-based restaurant changed their name from easyCurry under the threat of legal action.

In 2018, The Guardian reported the company took legal action against Netflix over its comedy series Easy, claiming its use of the name breaches its European trademarks.

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