The recent dispute between easyGroup and the band formerly known as ‘easy life’ provides an excellent reminder of why all new businesses, ideas or brands should undertake a trade mark search before launching their brand.
easyGroup is the company behind the airline easyJet and its associated group of companies. ‘easy’ branded businesses within the easyGroup portfolio include easyJet, easyHotel, easyCoffee, easyProperty, easyGym, easyHub, easyCar and more.
easyGroup has a proactive trade mark protection strategy, winning countless cases against anyone who attempts to operate a similar brand to its easy family of brands.
easyGroup has so far successfully argued that any brand with ‘easy’ at the beginning is an infringement of its registered trade marks because, due to its substantial reputation, EasyGroup’s brands are brought to mind.
Despite the band having working hard to build up its own goodwill and reputation, due to the cost and likely outcome of EasyGroup’s litigation, the band decided to stop operating under the name ‘easy life’.
This case clearly demonstrates why all businesses, from large corporations to newly-formed bands, should carefully research their chosen brand before launching publicly.
A trade mark search is a simple and cost-effective way to understand whether your chosen brand, or something very similar, is already being used by a third party. It allows you to take informed decisions about whether to go ahead with the time and cost of launching that brand and whether to seek trade mark protection.
We encourage our clients to allow us to undertake a trade mark search prior to filing a trade mark application because it is a cost-effective way to reduce the likelihood of an allegation of trade mark infringement or passing off, which can be both an expensive and stressful process. Crucially, this also reduces the risk of wasting the significant time and cost of launching and growing a brand.
If you would like to find out more about how Hamlins can assist with the protection of your brand, please get in touch.