easyGroup and Sir Stelios have today claimed another legal victory against a Colombia-based brand thief, as part of their continued policy of preventing unauthorised use of the “easy” brand without prior permission.
A judge in Bogota, Colombia issued a judgment published on the 7th October 2019 that ordered brand thief Alfonso Avila, who runs a small airline in Latin America under the brand “easyfly”, to pay easyGroup 30 million Colombian pesos in damages.
As part of a related action in the UK the parties (Sir Stelios and Mr Avila) will cross swords again on the 30th October 2019 at the High Court in London. While in a third related action against Toulouse-based aircraft manufacturer ATR, who previously sold easyFly-branded turboprop aircraft to Mr Avila, were subject to an easyGroup search warrant authorised by a Paris judge. Bailiffs were authorised to visit ATR’s factory in Toulouse on 3rd July to obtain photographs of the offending mark ‘easyfly’ being applied to the aircraft. The cases continue but these actions clearly confirm that easyGroup takes any unauthorised use of the easy brand very seriously.
Notes to editors:
Originally Mr Avila filed this lawsuit in Colombia against easyGroup and easyJet of the UK (both Sir Stelios’ brands) sometime in 2018. The latest judgment, following a hearing on 19 September 2019 in Bogota reversed an earlier decision and awarded damages to UK-based easyGroup of 30 million Colombian pesos.
In it Judge Adriana Ayala Pulgarin said:
“….by the time EASYFLY (Mr Avila), took steps for registering the trade mark EASYJET ( in Colombia) and other easy trademarks, the defendant companies (easyJet and easyGroup) already existed and operated in the European and United Kingdom market…under the family of EASY brands which they own.
“It does not seem justifiable that if the plaintiff (Mr Avila), at the time of registering his (easy) trademarks in Colombia, knew of the existence of the (easy) trademarks owned by the defendants (easyGroup and EasyJet) but nevertheless decided to make an incursion into the same market and under the same marks and distinctive signs. Mr Avila now claims to be the victim of a trademark infringement that follows the risk of confusion of non-authorized use of these trademarks, when it was he himself (Mr Avila) who created this situation.
“…there is no doubt that the first use of the commercial name “easyJet” was in England, use that continues to date, and therefore, if the Colombian company (Mr Avila) used the commercial name later than the British company, it is clear that the first use of the commercial name prevails.”
Note: Judgment dated 07 October 2019 – Translation by Carolina Daza, Colombian lawyers acting for easyGroup. The plaintiff in this case is Mr Avila’s company and the defendants are Stelios’ easyGroup and easyJet in the UK.