News & Insight

Newsletter February 5, 2018
Trade Mark Bulletin (EasyGroup loses EASY trade mark)

Trade Mark Bulletin (EasyGroup loses EASY trade mark)



asyGroup Ltd have just lost their EASY registered trade mark. It was not a good choice of mark because the word “easy” is laudatory and descriptive for the advertising and temporary accommodation services in respect of which it was registered. Unlike some of easyGroup’s other trade marks, notably EASYJET for airline services, the group had failed to educate the public that EASY indicated only advertising and temporary accommodation services provided by easyGroup rather than merely a description of those services.

That is not to say that ordinary words cannot successfully be registered as trade marks. For example, the APPLE word and logo trade marks are famous worldwide for amongst other things computing and telecommunications products.

Invented words like BOVRIL are the best trade marks but shapes, colours, sounds, smells and moving images can also achieve trade mark registration as long as they are unusual compared to the norm (and do not conflict with anyone else’s earlier rights).

So why should a company or organisation register its trading names and marks?

Unregistered trade marks can be protected at least in the UK through the common law of passing off. However, registration guarantees exclusive rights, acts as a warning to third party trespassers on those rights and allows a period of 5 years for a company/organisation to create and maintain a market in its branded products.

Once registered, trade marks are shorthand advertising tools into which a company or organisation can build the images and trust it wants to engender in the minds of consumers for its branded products – think the recent modernistic refreshing of the GUCCI brand.

Registration also facilitates safe licensing, franchising and merchandising activities centred around a brand.

Trade mark registration can be achieved in most countries or regions of the world through cost-effective international treaty filings.

Humphreys Law can help you protect trading signs, devise strategies for securing cross jurisdictional trade mark registrations and negotiate trade mark licensing agreements.

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