EasyJet fires legal shot at Netflix over Easy

The founder of European budget airline EasyJet has launched legal action against Netflix over the streamer’s comedy Easy (pictured), claiming that the title breaches European trademark law.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, CEO of EasyGroup, is seeking a high court injunction to prevent the platform from using the ‘Easy’ title in Europe for its Orlando Bloom-fronted comedy anthology series, which is returning for a third and final series.

The show, which follows the love lives of a group of Chicago-based friends, uses a similar lower-case font for its branding in a variety of colours, including black.

Parent group EasyGroup is known to take legal action around infringement of its copyright.

In August, the business secured an order in the UK’s High Court calling on the Honduran airline Easy Sky and Mexican parent group Global Air from ceasing use of its Easy Sky brand on aircraft and online.

A “brand thieves” section on the EasyGroup website notes that “Some people think they can make a fast buck by stealing our name and our reputation” and calls on the public to report any potential infringements of the brand.

The business makes significant revenue from licensing the ‘Easy’ label and its bright orange branding, with examples including EasyCoffee and EasyHotel.

Haji-Ioannou told the UK’s Sunday Times, which first reported the news, that “This is a case of typically arrogant behaviour by a very large American tech company who never bothered to check what legal rights other companies have outside the US.

“When Joe Swanberg came up with the name ‘easy’ for his new TV series a couple of years ago they should have checked with their European lawyers before using it. We own the European trademark in the word easy and another thousand trademarks with easy as a prefix and we can’t allow people to use it now as a brand name, especially when they are doing it mostly with our colours and font,” he said.

“At least I am pleased that Netflix have said that they will stop at series three anyway. However, we have to stop them from promoting the older series in Europe for online streaming.”

In a statement, Netflix said “Viewers can tell the difference between a show they watch and a plane they fly in.”