The founder of EasyJet has taken PC Music producer and DJ Easyfun to High Court for trying to “mimic” their brand.
In the latest string of trademark infringement claims brought against musicians, Easyfun (real name Finn Keane) has been accused of “alleged deliberate misappropriation”. The claim was brought by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who owns EasyJet’s licensing company EasyGroup. PC Music and its label founder A.G. Cook have also been named as defendants in the case.
Last October, EasyGroup brought similar claims against indie band Easy Life. The band were eventually forced to change their name in the face of a “costly legal battle”; the name has not yet been revealed.
Now, EasyGroup have labelled Keane a “brand thief”, suing him for trademark infringement. They further claimed that he was trying to “mimic easyGroup’s famous branding to create instant brand recognition for his “DJ” ing business.”
Both the EasyGroup and Easyfun have been approached for comment.
The brand also took issue with the DJ’s cover art for EP ‘Deep Trouble’. The EP’s artwork originally depicted passengers wearing swimwear sliding into the ocean using a plane’s evacuation slide, surrounded by floating bottles of champagne.
EasyGroup, however, have claimed they were “concerned” that the cover depicted an “serious aircrash”: “Not only is the artwork in bad taste but an association with such a tragic event risks seriously damaging the reputation in easyGroup’s trade marks, in particular easyJet.” The brand is now seeking “substantial” damages from Keane.
Keane responded to Haji-Ioannou’s lawyers with the following email. “If your client is annoyed at some of the artwork or images that they think mimics the easyFamily get up, that has always been completely tongue in cheek,” he wrote.
“It’s very obvious that it’s meant as a joke and I really struggle to understand why your client has any reason to be concerned about it.
“That said, I obviously don’t want to be stuck in a legal dispute with a big company like your client and so I have removed the examples in your letter where I can and will seek to avoid similar artwork in the future.” The cover art of ‘Deep Trouble’ has now been changed.
Keane has helped write hits such as Charli XCX‘s ‘Speed Drive’ and Rita Ora‘s ‘Let You Love Me’, and has been a staple of the PC Music label. He recently released a new album ‘Soft Rock’ in a new project with Cook called Thy Slaughter. The pair teamed up with Caroline Polachek to perform the track ‘Immortal’ at PC Music’s recent 10th anniversary show in London.
The label also announced it would stop releasing original material by the end of 2023, instead focusing on “archival projects and special reissues”.