Feeds

EasyGroup refused entry to easyhotel.ch

WIPO rejects trade mark claim

The next step in data security

EasyGroup has lost an attempt to eject the resident of easyhotel.ch, the director of a Swiss technology firm who was using the domain name to promote his firm's services to Swiss hotels. EasyGroup was accused of trying to monopolise the word "easy".

EasyGroup IP Licensing Ltd, the brand police for Stelios Haji-Ioannou's easyGroup empire, argued that the name infringes its easyHotel trade marks. It took action before the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), arguing that Pascal de Vries of Basel-based Dexion AG should be stripped of the domain name. It cited trade mark and unfair competition laws to support its claim.

De Vries registered easyhotel.ch in June 2005. His company applied for the Swiss trade mark EASYHOTEL the same month in classes relevant to telecoms and IT services. There are 45 trade mark classes in total, and easyGroup said it had applied for the same mark in the class relevant to hotel accommodation.

But easyGroup had not secured a trade mark registration – and Swiss trade mark law does not recognise rights in pending applications. Accordingly, easyGroup failed to convince the panellist that it has any rights in Switzerland over the marks EASY HOTEL and EASYHOTEL.

Even if it had established trade mark rights, easyGroup's claim was doomed because De Vries convinced the panellist that he was acting in good faith when he registered the domain name. At the time, easyhotel was not a well-known trade mark in Switzerland and De Vries said he did not know that an easyHotel was opening in Basel.

The panellist also felt that confusion among customers was unlikely, given the different nature of the services on offer and the appearance of Dexion AG's website – which makes no mention of easyGroup and does not use its distinctive orange and white colouring.

De Vries accused easyGroup of trying to monopolise the name "easy" in the same way as a cybersquatter, by registering a high number of "easy" domain names without using them. He also criticised easyGroup for not trying to resolve the matter amicably.

In another WIPO decision announced today, easyGroup had more success: it won a transfer of the domain name easyhote.com from an apparent typo-squatter in the Republic of Korea.

See:

Copyright © 2005, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.