28 May 2020TrademarksSarah Morgan

easyGroup fails to halt ‘Easy Nurse’ TM

The  UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has rejected  easyGroup’s argument that a trademark covering breastfeeding products shouldn’t be registered.

Earlier this month, the office  concluded that a trademark applied for by individual Natalie Waldbaum, which features the words “Easy Nurse” and an image of a mother breastfeeding, would not cause confusion with easyGroup’s trademarks, such as ‘easyJet’ or ‘easyFitness’.

Applied for in June 2017, the ‘Easy Nurse’ trademark covers goods such as breast nursing pads, babies’ creams, teething rings and cot blankets in classes 5, 10, 24 and 25.

Soon after publication, easyGroup opposed the trademark, claiming that the applied-for mark was similar to its own trademarks, the goods covered were also identical or similar, and that consumers would assume there was a link between the two.

George Salthouse, on behalf of the IPO, said that while some of the goods in both the applied-for mark and easyGroup’s marks were identical or similar in class 5 and 25, the goods in classes 10 and 24 were not similar.

easyGroup had argued that the bedding materials covered by the ‘Easy Nurse’ trademark were similar to hotel services covered in easyGroup’s ‘easyHotel’ trademark.

However, Salthouse disagreed, stating that easyGroup didn’t show that “bed linen and other linen” can be purchased by guests staying in its hotels and that even if it had, it’s not clear that the items would carry the ‘easyHotel’ trademark or the name of the actual hotel.

“From my experience if the linen in a hotel has a name upon it, it is invariably the hotel name. I quite understand that certain people would wish to have a reminder of their stay at a high-class hotel (Savoy, Dorchester, Claridges etc), perhaps to bring out and place in the guest bathroom prior to the arrival of said guests in a pathetic bid to impress, even though most people would believe such an item to have been stolen,’ he added.

Turning to the trademarks, the IPO held that easyGroup’s had low visual similarity, a medium degree of aural similarity and no conceptual similarity to the ‘Easy Nurse’ trademark.

Overall, Salthouse found that there was no likelihood of consumers being confused into believing that the goods provided by Waldbaum are those of easyGroup.

easyGroup’s argument that the ‘Easy Nurse’ trademark would take unfair advantage of its trademarks was also dismissed and the company was ordered to pay Waldbaum £1,600 ($1,962).

A spokesperson for easyGroup said the company would review the decision carefully.

“However easyGroup takes the protection of the easy name and its associated marks very seriously. Our licensees pay good money to use it as a legitimate part of their business marketing strategy so it is simply unacceptable for others to come along and use it as and when they please—free, gratis and for nothing.”

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories sent like this straight to your inbox.

Today’s top stories

‘Assassin’s Creed’ publisher sued over graphics patent

PTAB wants new rules to tackle IPR imbalance

Webinar: SEPs in a connected future and the role of patent pools

Rouse appoints new chairman

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

13 November 2020   The UK Intellectual Property Office has turned down easyGroup’s application to register ‘easy’ as a trademark after an opposition from American restaurant chain Big Easy.
23 November 2020   The owner of UK-based airline easyJet has failed to persuade the UK Intellectual Property Office to invalidate a Vietnamese food company’s trademark for noodles.
10 March 2021   EasyGroup, the holding company behind the "easy" family of brands including easyJet, has lost its bid to invalidate a trademark at the UK Intellectual Property Office.