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Life Still Hard For Easypeople - 09/2000

EasyGroup Still Perusing Domain Name

According to James Rothnie, a spokesperson from the EasyGroup, e-cruiter easypeople.com is ìpassing off as the easyGroupî. This claim originates from attempts by the EasyGroup to prevent easypeople.com from trading, and is vehemently denied by the operators of easypeople.co.uk. This is being seen as a landmark case for the Internet industry, and the online recruitment sector in particular. Over the past couple of months, Online Recruitment has covered this story, having gleefully reported in the previous edition that EasyGroup had desisted in its legal proceedings. However, new solicitors acting on behalf on the EasyGroup have reissued their demands.

ìWe were advised that the threat of legal action would be over once we had received the letter from Harbottle and Lewis dated 19 July 2000. It was wonderful that our ëeasyí was free, although it was only for 10 days. The new approach has caused is extreme stress, as it remains a constant battle to concentrate on the running of the business, when all your energy is consumed in defending your livelihood, against ruinî, said Tony Finn, MD of easypeople.

The basis for any claim of passing off must surely be copyright infringement. Though easypeople clearly uses the word easy, so do 18000 other companies. This alone is not sufficient, especially considering that the EasyGroup have never operated in the recruitment industry. Despite sending a cease and desist letter to EasyGroup, the conglomerate continues to claim that easypeople is abusing the goodwill generated by its brand.

The facts in this case seem clearly to vindicate easypeople, yet the might of a large corporation threatens an up and coming e-cruiter with disaster. Claims made by the EasyGroup spokesperson are in fact actually damaging the trading reputation of Easypeople. Rothnie was recently quoted as saying, ìWe doubt their integrity and in our opinion people should not do business with themî.

Online Recruitment welcomes comment on this issue and suggest that readers with strong views contact EasyGroup directly to voice their outrage on 020 74829502.