Dad who runs jet wash company in David vs Goliath legal battle with easyJet

A North Staffordshire driveway cleaner is facing a David vs Goliath battle with easyJet after being threatened with legal action over the branding of his company.

Dad Jozsef Spekker, 43, who runs Newcastle-under-Lyme-based EasyJetwash, could be forced to rebrand his business after charging about £100 to pressure wash driveways, patios, and conservatories across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire for the past three years.

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou's airline company, easyGroup, claims that Jozsef's branding is causing significant harm to the business. The mogul has now demanded Jozsef remove all related branding from Facebook and other social media platforms.

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Sir Stelios has gone as far as to brand Jozsef 'one of the most calculating and profiteering brand thieves I have come across in the 30 years I have been doing this job'.

Taking about his David vs Goliath battle, Jozsef said: "They explained how my branding was very harmful for their business. They wanted me to take all the branding off Facebook and social media and close it down.

"If I do what they want me to do I have to close the business. I'd have to start again. The first two years I spent a lot of money on advertisements."

Highlighting the effort he has put into his online presence, Jozsef said: "I have hundreds of videos on YouTube, a ten-minute video takes a long time to edit. I have at least 160 videos. People like to watch them."

He pinpointed the issue at the heart of the dispute: "It's mainly the word 'easy' which is the problem. I call myself EasyJetwash. If you go through most of my social posts I higher case Easy and Jet.

"I try and keep it obvious that we are nothing to do with easyJet. They are hanging on to the word 'easy', saying that I am trying to confuse their customers into believing I am part of their group.

"I look very, very different. All the business I do, they don't offer. The whole idea of calling my business EasyJetwash is that I made hard physical work very easy with the right equipment and it is really simple and easy to do.

"They [easyJet) don't offer any exterior cleaning or building restoration, which I do. Which is why my trademark was accepted. They didn't challenge my trademark.

"I am totally scared. Who am I compared to a multi-billion pound corporation? Just a few weeks ago I paid off £800 on my credit card and I have no savings. I can't fight them in the court."

Jozsef applied to trademark his company name and was approved in April 2022. The Hungarian-born business owner, who suffers from degenerative arthritis, said the stress had left him feeling 'worried I'll lose everything'.

Jozsef Spekker, who owns EasyJetwash
Jozsef Spekker faces a David vs Goliath battle

He added: "My business is extremely different from anything that easyGroup offer for their customers. Not just the business, but the appearance of the business as well and the way EasyJetwash is displayed. When I registered as a trademark and got accepted I was 100 per cent sure I have every right over my business which is my only income."

Jozsef says he is so worried about losing his business that he has set up a GoFundMe page to help him cover any legal bills.

He added: "I'm worried to lose everything to be honest. With the GoFundMe, maybe I have a way to fight it. I can't afford someone to represent me. I'm just a bloke. Loads of people say that I can win this case."

"It's not only ridiculous, but it's heartless. If you have money, you can sue anyone. I'm pretty sure they're going to be heavy handed."

In response, Sir Stelios labelled Jozsef a 'brand thief'. He responded: "From my point of view I think Mr Spekker is one of the most calculating and profiteering brand thieves I have come across in the 30 years I have been doing this job. Not only did he register the domain, which clearly contains the word easyJet, but also he very cleverly performed search engine optimisation to come up very highly on Google search engine results using the search term 'easyjet wash'.

"So now Spekker is running a very profitable business by obtaining more and more customers who fall for the deliberate confusion he creates online. Don't believe him that he has no money to hire a lawyer. His problem is that no lawyer will tell him that what he does is lawful.

"While there are some people who argue that we don't own a monopoly on the word 'easy' - which I disagree with - Spekker is the first person who has ever argued that we don't own a monopoly in the word 'easyJet'. We clearly own the word 'easyJet'. We will win in court."

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