EasyDate has been trading under the 'Easy' name for five years. The group, which also owns dating sites benaughty.com, and girlsdateforfree.com has nine million members across 30 countries. When the firm hit the headlines after its flotation on AIM in June of this year, Stelios called his lawyers.
"EasyDate is taking unfair advantage of the strong reputation of my easy brand in order to obtain an undeserved commercial advantage," says Stelios. "Unless EasyDate stops using its brand and domain name, I will take further action to protect the easy name."
easyGroup owns all the intellectual property rights for the family of 'easy' trademarks, including easyJet, easyHotel, easyCar, easyBus, easyJobs, easyVan, easyOffice and easy.com. Stelios has registered over 1,000 trademarks with the easy prefix since launching easyGroup 15 years ago.
EasyDate founder Bill Dobbie claimed that he was unaware of any claims made against his firm last week, prompting this press release from Stelios: "Bill Dobbie is aware of our claims and has responded to our letter; for him to suggest otherwise in the media is completely untrue. I am surprised this sort of statement is coming from a listed company."
The media focus could not come at a better time for Sir Stelios, who has just announced plans for another easy start-up. The easyGroup tycoon has teamed up with private equity-backed Fore Fitness to launch easyGym, the first new business under the easy brand for four years.
True to the low-cost model of the other easy companies, easyGym will offer convenience at bargain prices; memberships will cost around £15 a month, with no registration fee and no contractual tie-ins.
The first easyGym is expected to open in around six months, and Stelios has announced plans to launch the venture across the UK and Europe.
What will Stelios do with all these toned and muscled easyGym customers? Perhaps he'll cross-sell a dating website through a newly acquired EasyDate brand…