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Not easy

December 2018. UK-registered easyGroup knows only too well that things don’t go smoothly if you have a trademark called easy. Over the past year, the company has lost a large number of opposition cases it filed against attempts to register new ‘easy’ trademarks.

148 EU registrations

As well as the easyJet brand, easyGroup owns numerous easy trademarks, from easyKiosk and easyPizza to easyTaxi and easyFitness: in fact, it’s registered a staggering 148 trademarks in Europe featuring the word ‘easy’.

No monopoly

In an attempt to gain a kind of absolute monopoly to the word ‘easy’, easyGroup makes a habit of formally objecting to virtually every new trademark featuring ‘easy’. Despite this, it’s not often successful.

Lavatory paper

In 2018, for example, it failed to halt the registration of the trademarks Easyroad (for tyres), Easyfastrack (flight information by mobile phone) and Easydentaly (dentists). EasyFlossing (physiotherapy), Easyret (laser equipment), EasyZip (clothing) and EasyPick (lavatory paper!) were also successfully registered, despite easyGroup’s objections.

All easy, and all accepted for registration

Simple

The problem of course lies in the fact that ‘easy’ is a purely descriptive word. Even if you own 150 easy trademarks and easyJet enjoys a global reputation as a trademark for a budget airline company, this simply isn’t enough to guarantee you an absolute monopoly to the word easy.

Easyroad tyres and easyPick lavatory paper: easyGroup can’t stop them