Sir Stelios: “Another brand thief is ordered to cease, desist and compensate easyGroup”
easyGroup, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s private investment vehicle and owner of the easy family of brands has won another important legal battle against brand theft. On 19 December 2019 a High Court judge in London granted easyGroup an injunction ordering an Italian law firm, using the brand Easyrimborso and its director, Felice d’Angelo, from making any further use of counterfeit signs easyrimborso.it, easyrimborso.com and the easyrimborso logo. The Court also awarded easyGroup damages to be assessed (ie the foregone income easyGroup would have earned if the brands were properly licenced) as well as legal costs of £35,000.
To add insult to injury this Italian brand thief targeted airline customers (including easyJet customers) in pursuing compensation claims against the airlines under EU rules that cover delays and cancellations – taking a cut in the process.
easyGroup takes a hard line against brand theft, as it 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 Alfonso Avila.
Sir Stelios said:
“We are delighted this questionable legal practice will now stop. The brand thief clearly thought he could have a laugh at our expense – using the easy brand to sue easyJet. The High Court has now ruled otherwise. This decision sends a message to other existing brand thieves as well as those contemplating similar illegality. We have legitimate business partners who pay to 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.”