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EasyJet Founder Sues Netflix Over 'Easy'

Easyjet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou speaks at a media event to celebrate 20 years in business at Luton Airport, southern England. Photo: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

By Pushkala Aripaka, International Business Times

Two seasons in, UK budget airline magnate Stelios Haji-Ioannou is suing Netflix over the title of its Chicago-based show “Easy”, arguing it infringes on more than a thousand trademarks he has registered using the word in Europe.

Under the lawsuit filed in a UK court, the founder of budget flights pioneer easyJet (EZJ.L) seeks to ban the streaming giant from showing or promoting the show under its current name.

Stelios, 51, the son of a shipping magnate, also owns the easyHotel (EZH.L), easyBus, easyCar, easyProperty, easyOffice, easyFoodstore, easyCoffee, easyMoney and easyGym brands through his company easyGroup based in Monaco and London.

The claim seeks an injunction to prevent Netflix (NFLX.O) from using the name “Easy” in the European Union and not more than 10,000 pounds ($13,052) in damages.

“We own the European trademark in the word ‘easy’ and another one thousand trademarks with easy as a prefix,” the billionaire said in a statement. “We can’t allow people to use it now as a brand name, especially when they are doing it mostly with our colors and font.”

“Easy” creator Joe Swanberg is also named as a defendant in the claim.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A representative for Swanberg was not immediately available for comment.

“Easy”, which premiered in 2016, explores sex and romance through stories about a range of couples who live in Chicago. Its third and final season will be aired next year.

($1 = 0.7662 pounds)

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