Contrary to our story on Friday that EasyGroup had called off its easy domain crusade, boss Stelios Haji-Iannou has been in touch to assure us that he will strike down another three "easy" offenders in the next few months at the High Court.
Last week, Stelios withdrew his case against Easyart.com just weeks before it was due to start, saying that other, more important court cases were keeping him occupied.
However, that does not mean he has lost his firm belief that any domain name with "easy" or even "easi" (we are not sure yet whether "ez" counts) is quite clearly trying to rip him off personally and so must be smitten.
"EasyGroup are set for High Court trials against easy4car.com, easirent.com and easyrentaped.com in the next few months and expect to win all these cases," he emailed us.
It is easy to see how these companies could be trading off the back of EasyJet and EasyCar's names. EasyCar, incidentally, was originally "passing off" EasyRentaCar, so Stelios had no choice but to threaten them with massive legal bills, take the domain off them and then change the name of the company.
- Easy4car.com: Stelios' EasyCar rents 4 cars all the time.
- Easirent.com: Stelios at some point in the future may want to become a landlord - you can bet this cybersquatter knew that when he registered the domain.
- Easyrentaped.com: Is this "easy rent aped" or "easy rent a ped" or "easy ren taped"? No matter, it is clearly infringing EasyGroup's rights.
Stelios also wanted to set the record straight:
"Only two brand related cases brought by easyGroup have proceeded to judgement in the UK High Court.
"EASYREALESTATE in June 2001. easyGroup was totally successful in a summary judgement applicaiton against the defendent Tim Dainty. He was ordered to cease trading as EASYREALESTATE, to transfer all IP rights he has in the name to easyGroup and to pay easyGroup £12,000 in costs.
"EASYCARFINANCE in Jan 2003. easyGroup was totally successful and was awarded a judgement in default at the High Court. The defendent was ordered to stop trading as EASYCARFINANCE and to transfer all IP rights to easyGroup. There was also a costs order of £5,000."
He's quite correct. And so is WIPO when it ruled "easy" is a common word and no company can claim rights over it. And so is the High Court when it informed Easy Group that it had no rights over the word "easy" and could not prevent anyone from registering a company or domain with the word in.
If you copy the well-know trademark orange, cuddly font and lowercase "e" that has become so well known through EasyJet and EasyCar, you deserve to have Mr Haji-Iannou's undoubted legal might directed your way.
If however you register an Internet domain containing the word "easy" meaning "not needing much work or effort; free from pain, care or anxiety", you have every reason to belief the law will stand by you and declare it as your legitimate property. That is if you can afford the £50,000 it will cost to get you there. Stelios can. ®
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