Easyjet sues UK band Easy Life over name: What other brands have sued bands?

Murray Matravers of Easy Life performs at the Reading Music Festival, England, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021.
Murray Matravers of Easy Life performs at the Reading Music Festival, England, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Copyright Scott Garfitt/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Estelle Nilsson-Julien
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Easyjet is suing a UK indie band for having the word "easy" in their name. But if this is the case - what other brands haven taken bands to court?


In a post published on their social media account, UK indie band Easy Life announced Easyjet was pushing them into a “costly legal battle”, adding they are "virtually powerless against such a massive corporation.”

Reacting with humour, the band said they found the situation "hilarious", adding "for those of you that bought gig tickets and ended up on a budget flight to Tenerife, I apologise."

Easy Life got together in 2017, with their 2021 and 2022 albums Life’s a Beach and Another Life both reaching number two on the UK charts. 

But earlier this year, the band cancelled their North America tour due to “financial difficulties”, adding “we're just not able to get the funds to bring the easy crew over this spring.” 

In a statement shared with the BBC, EasyGroup which owns Easyjet said that other companies - including one of the UK's largest catalogue retailers called Easylife - paid for the use of its brand name. 

An Easygroup spokesperson added: "Stelios [Haji-Ioannou] and easyGroup founded and now own the right to the easy brand name.

But this is not the first time that Easyjet has taken brands to court. 

Back in 2014, billionaire businessman and easyJet founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou announced he would take legal action against Netflix over its comedy series Easy, claiming its use of the name breaches his company’s European trademarks.

Even Barbie has been in the dock

The song Barbie Girl by Danish band Aqua became an instant sensation after its release in 1997.

But lawyers at Mattel, the company behind the plastic doll clearly didn't feel like dancing the night away to the catchy tune.  

Within six months of the song's release - Mattel took the band's label MCA records to court. 

They argued that they had never granted authorisation for the name Barbie to be used. Mattel also accused Aqua of sexualising Barbie with lyrics such as "kiss me here, touch me there, hanky-panky.”

The case escalated, reaching the US Court of Appeals. However, Judge Alex Kozinski ruled in favour of MCA noting that the song was a parody and therefore protected by the First Amendment. 

Mattel persisted with repeated attempts to take the case to the Supreme Court - but without success.

Ok Go... to court

American rock band Ok Go spent months embroiled in a heated legal battle with cereal brand Post Foods. The dispute began when Post Foods announced the launch of Ok Go! - a new line of grab-and-go cereals. 

But LA-based band Ok Go - who collaborated with Post Foods back in 2011 for a YouTube video promoting Honey Bunches of Oats - were far from thrilled by the news. The band has held the trademark for the name since 2008. 

The band was quick to react, with their lawyers sending Post Foods a letter urging them to reconsider the name on grounds of trademark infringement.  

This only added fuel to the fire, with Post Foods suing the band over the dispute. But before things turned even more sour, both sides reached a settlement outside of court. Attorneys for both sides asked a Minnesota federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit permanently, with each side paying their own legal bills.


Post Foods has subsequently removed all mentions of the Ok Go line on their website.

One Direction: the ban sues

Sometimes it's the band that sues the brand - and not the other way round. 

Back in 2014, lawyers for the group One Direction threatened to sue ripnroll.com - an online condom marketplace - over its FDA-approved "One Erection" condoms. 

The range was launched at the peak of the band's fame, allowing fans to bulk buy 1,000 condoms for the price of $300.

"There is only one direction to go with these babies and that is UP! Great ice breaker at parties and bars," a description of the condoms read. 


One Direction were reportedly amused by the condom line - but their lawyers not so keen. 

As such, the threat of a pending court case alone was enough for the website to discontinue the range. However, the condoms are currently available on other websites.

Share this articleComments

You might also like