Another “easy” win for Sir Stelios in the battle against brand theft
Yet another brand thief has been forced to pay heavy damages to easyGroup, owner and founder of the “easy” family of brands, for the illegal use of its distinctive “easy” marque. On 30 July (for publication this week) a High Court judge in London ordered the Italian law firm, using the brand Easyrimborso and its director, Sr Felice d’Angelo, to pay over the sum of £100,000 for its past use of counterfeit signs easyrimborso.it, easyrimborso.com and the easyrimborso logo. The damages were assessed as the foregone income easyGroup would have earned if the brands had been properly licenced.
He also awarded added costs of £13,000 to easyGroup, the private investment and brand protection business, owned by easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
The Italian brand thief had been targeting airline customers (including easyJet customers) pursuing compensation claims against airlines under EU rules that cover delays and cancellations – and taking a cut in the process. However the High Court ordered a halt to this illegal practice back in December last year with an interim award to easyGroup of £35,000. When taken with the recent added cost award, this brand thief will have incurred total costs of £48,000 on top of damages.
For easyGroup this has been another important legal victory in the battle against brand theft, where it takes a hard line against perpetrators. This activity not only tarnishes the highly-regarded “easy” brand when used without controls but also confuses customers and suppliers. Other recent successes include preventing illegal use of the “easy” brand by Air China, French hypermarket group Carrefour as well as a Colombian airline run by Sr Alfonso Avila.
Sir Stelios said:
“This decision sends a clear message to other existing brand thieves as well as those contemplating similar illegality. We have legitimate business partners who pay us their hard earned cash to licence the easy brand from easyGroup – it is grossly unfair that some others should think they can take it free, gratis and for nothing.
“And if you do decide to steal our brand – then prepare for the consequences!”