The following statement has been issued by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and easyGroup Ltd in response to various media reports about an ongoing claim against the brand thief Mr Matravers and his fellow band members, who perform under the stage name https://www.easylifemusic.
It should be noted Stelios created and has owned the easy family of brands since 1994. His UK investment company, easyGroup Ltd is the legal entity suing Matravers and his fellow band members. easyGroup owns more than 1,000 registered trademarks including a trademark for the word “easy”.
More information about the easy family of brands can be found on www.easy.com and www.easyHistory.info with a seven minute video explaining the easyGroup business model.
easyGroup Ltd is a profitable company that charges royalties to more than 50 carefully selected business partners for their using the easy brand conjoined with another word to form a sub-brand.
The most famous such brand is www.easyJet.com which pays 0.25% of its revenues to easyGroup for the right to use the easyJet brand which belongs to easyGroup.
Some of the better-known brands which currently generate substantial income for easyGroup Ltd include:
www.easyHotel.com , www.easyCar.com , www.easyMoney.com and www.easy-Cleaning.co.uk.
Most importantly for the case against Matravers, easyGroup Ltd owns the brand www.easyLife.co.uk, a substantial online/catalogue retail business that joined the easy family of brands two years ago having started in the 1990s.
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.
Nor is it fair for shareholders of legitimate companies that form the easy family of brands, such as easyJet and easyHotel, that some other people get to use the easy brand for free and without any check on standards.
Mr. Matravers has intentionally used easyGroup’s well known stylisation and images of easyJet planes in his marketing. 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.
It has come to easyGroup’s attention that they started selling various goods, including orange clothing that looked like our uniform, using the easyLife brand. The fact that Mr Matravers went out of his way to create a link in the mind of the consumer that he has something to do with the airline simply proves our case. See a photoshopped image of a plane created by Matravers to increase his profit.
Easy Life Music branded material.
Mr Matravers 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.
The reason our www.easyLife.co.uk needs to be protected from https://www.easylifemusic.com/ is because in the internet search engine era, they are both competing for consumers and clicks online. We do not consider this confusing situation some sort of joke. Consumers deserve to be accurately directed to the correct company online.
easyGroup Ltd is not attempting to stop people from using the word easy in its ordinary meaning. Rather, we are taking action to prevent the word easy being conjoined with another in order to generate sales and profit. It should be noted that there are other everyday words that are currently used as trademarks for example: apple, orange, virgin.
In addition, easyGroup Ltd is concerned with some of the band’s behaviour to date and easyGroup Ltd does not want the band using easyGroup trademarks and logos as such could negatively affect easyGroup’s Intellectual Property. It is possible to take unfair advantage of a brand or damage a brand’s reputation even if customers are not confused.
easyLife (the catalogue retailer and easyGroup licensee) has been trading since at least 2000, so 15 years before the band first started using EasyLife. The band has now expanded to selling clothing and other merchandise that directly overlaps with the goods EasyLife (the catalogue) has been seeking for almost 25 years. This infringes our IP rights. Additionally, easyLife has also included swear words on these products next to the easyLife brand, which easyGroup does not condone.
Easy Life Music branded products.
easyGroup is very confident that will prevail in court and will be awarded substantial damages from Mr Matravers and his associates.