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Orange sues Stelios for 'passing off'

Lawyer-happy man faces lawyers

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Mobile operator Orange is suing EasyGroup to stop it using the colour orange when it launches mobile phone services next month.

Ironically Stelios launched a raft of lawsuits when he started his chain of internet cafes. He sued various firms with the word "easy" in their names. They were accused of "passing off" or confusing customers into thinking they were dealing with part of the easyGroup. Companies accused included easyprotest, easyart, easirent and easyrentaped. This time Stelios will be in the dock.

L'Orange believes easyMobile's logo and colour, both orange, are likely to confuse customers. Despite a series of meetings since August the two have failed to find a mutually acceptable solution.

Orange said: "Our brand, and the rights associated with it are extremely important to us. In the absence of any firm commitment from Easy, we have been left with no choice but to start an action for trademark infringement and passing off."

Stelios responded: "I will see them in court. It is our right to use our own corporate colour for which we have become famous during the last 10 years...They are clearly worried about the competition."

T-Mobile is providing the network for Stelios's latest venture called easyMobile. It is based on the "Telmore concept" - a low cost, web-based business model described as "the Easyjet of telecoms". ®

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