Why Is EasyGroup Suing Netflix? ‘Easy’ Money, That’s Why

October 1, 2018, 9:22 PM UTC

The Netflix show Easy entered its third and final season in August. The Chicago-based, single-camera dramedy follows a diverse cast of characters dealing with a mix of issues including love, sex, and technology. Since it debuted in 2016, it’s been a relatively popular series from creator and director Joe Swanberg.

But the show has earned at least one detractor: easyGroup chairman Stelios Haji-Ioannou. Even though the show has been streaming on Netflix for two years, Haji-Ioannou is now suing Netflix. The allegation? Trademark infringement.

EasyGroup owns over a thousand trademarks in Europe using the name “easy.” And so, Haji-Ioannou, the son of shipping magnate Loucas Haji-Ioannou, is seeking to ban Netflix from streaming or promoting the show under its current name. Haji-Ioannou named Swanberg in the suit and is seeking £10,000 (about $13,000) in damages, according to Reuters.

Haji-Ioannou founded easyJet in 1995 and has since opened a diverse portfolio of travel industry and hospitality groups under various “easy” names. Pretty much without exception, every company follows the same formula as the airline, with parent company easyGroup establishing a literally named company in a budget category. Holdings that are part of the London- and Monaco-based easyGroup include European hotel chain easyHotel and peer-to-peer car sharing service easyCar.

The “Easy” series finale is slated to air in early 2019, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Correction, Oct. 8, 2018: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the entity that brought the lawsuit against Netflix; it is easyGroup, not easyJet, which is its subsidiary. Additionally, the article misidentified Stelios Haji-Ioannou; he is currently chairman of easyGroup, not easyJet’s founder and CEO. We regret the errors.