20 February 2018Trademarks

easyGroup has wind taken out of it in trademark dispute

easyGroup, the UK-based parent company of easyJet, has failed in its attempt to oppose the registration of ‘Easysail’ as a UK trademark.

The UK Intellectual Property Office ( IPO) handed down its ruling on Thursday, February 15.

French textiles company Porcher Industries designated the UK for protection of international registration 1,318,748 (the ‘Easysail’ mark) in May 2016.

‘Easysail’ covers classes 22, 24 and 35, which include sails, raw fibrous textile materials, technical fabrics for sport applications, and retail or wholesale services for boat sails.

easyGroup alleged that the applied-for trademark is similar to seven of its own marks, including EU trademarks ‘easyJet’ (10,584,001), ‘ easyProperty' (14,920,433) and ‘easyTravel’ (10,626,604).

easyGroup’s ‘easyProperty’ and ‘easyGroup’ marks both cover class 35.

“The opposed class 35 services of this application are identical or at least highly similar to the class 35 services of the opponent’s registration,” said easyGroup. “They concern retail services in relation to a range of goods in the case of the opponent’s registration and boat sails in the case of the opposed application.”

easyGroup added that sailing is an expensive activity, like air travel, and is associated with a certain lifestyle so it would be a “natural assumption that ‘Easysail’ is an extension” of easyGroup’s business.

The UK-based company also alleged that Porcher’s trademark would “ride on the coattails” of the easyGroup’s marks.

Allan James, head of the IPO’s trademark tribunal, said that there is only a low-to-medium degree of similarity between the marks and that the services are not in competition.

In its defence, Porcher pointed out that the word “easy” is a basic English word meaning “without requiring much labour or effort; not difficult; simple”.

James said: “I accept that easy is a natural way of designating goods and services as being easy to use. I therefore agree that the word is inherently low in distinctive character.”

James ruled that Porcher has been successful in its application and ordered easyGroup to pay Porcher £1,050 ($1,468).

A spokesperson for easyGroup said that the company had “no comment” on the decision.

As reported by WIPR in January, the English High Court ruled against easyGroup in a trademark dispute against flat-sharing site EasyRoommate.

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

Today’s top stories

UKIPO launches trade secrets consultation

AIPPI executive director resigns

DeLorean primed for TM lawsuit against cosmetics company

Cabinet Plasseraud appoints four to partner

EU General Court delivers TM defeat to Deutsche Post

EU court dismisses motor company’s trademark appeal

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

26 February 2018   Shoe maker Clarks has succeeded in its opposition to a ‘Clark’ trademark at the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
27 March 2018   easyGroup has failed to prevent a trademark for an electric bicycle company from being registered.