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Name change not so easy

PUBLISHED: 10:08 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 21:47 02 July 2010

Easybet in Rainham

Easybet in Rainham

A RAINHAM bookmakers called easyBet has been threatened with legal action by easyJet over what the budget airline s bosses claim is brand theft. Now it appears the number s up for the betting shop s rhyming moniker which uses the easy prefix as well as

A RAINHAM bookmakers called easyBet has been threatened with legal action by easyJet over what the budget airline's bosses claim is brand theft.

Now it appears the number's up for the betting shop's rhyming moniker which uses the "easy" prefix as well as the distinctive orange and white typeface of the easyGroup.

Shop owner Peter Johns said: "We've been exchanging letters and emails [with the easyGroup] but it's a fight I can't possibly take on."

The 36-year-old has agreed to revert to a previous name, The Paul Jones Group.

He said: "I'll remove the name but I'm going to keep the orange and white colours in my logo because I've always used it - I'm getting signs made up at the minute."

Mr Johns, who has two other stores in east London, had managed to fly under the radar of the budget brand big boys for four years but was shopped seven days after opening his latest outlet in Upminster Road South on March 3.

He said: "We have been trading as easyBet in Chingford and Dagenham without any problems or any customers or general public thinking for one minute that we were part of the easyGroup.

"Whilst I admit we were not really original we felt the name had a ring to it and rolled off the tongue."

The easyGroup, run by Greek tycoon Stelios Haji-Ioannou, aggressively challenges what it describes as brand theft, including phonetic variants, and has won a number court cases involving the use of the 'easy' name in recent years.

The company urges the public to report any companies trying to "piggyback" off its brand on its website, and Mr Johns fears it was a jealous competitor in the area who alerted the easyGroup - something he has describes as "gutter tactics".

He added: "We are so tucked away that unless someone got in touch directly we would go unnoticed."

Stelios said: "We take brand theft very seriously in order to avoid confusion in the eyes of the consumer.


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