EasyJet founder sues Netflix over trademark
EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is suing streaming giant Netflix over claims its comedy series Easy breaches his company’s European trademarks.
Haji-Ioannou is seeking a high court injunction to prevent Netflix using the programme name in Europe in a bid to protect the EasyGroup’s licensees including EasyJet, EasyGym, EasyCoffee and EasyHotel.
According to the Guardian, the EasyJet founder has seen growing numbers of “brand thieves” seeking to “piggyback” off his EasyGroup business, which receives an income from licensing its brand to a number of businesses in return for a royalty based on their turnover.
A spokesman for EasyGroup said it would start legal proceedings at the beginning of the week. He added: “EasyGroup now owns more than 1,000 registered trademarks within the Easy family of brands all over the world and takes its protection from unauthorised use very seriously.”
However Netflix has hit back, suggesting that “viewers can tell the difference between a show they watch and a plane they fly in”.
First screened in 2016 comedy drama Easy, which stars the likes of Orlando Bloom and Emily Ratajkowski, follows the ups and downs of dating, relationships and family life in Chicago. The show will enter its third and final series in 2019.
Sainsbury’s eyes beauty market with new retail concept
Sainsbury’s is to introduce department store-style beauty aisles staffed with specialist assistants across 11 stores nationwide, with plans to branch out to more stores in 2019 if the concept proves successful.
The Guardian reports that Sainsbury’s will double the size of its beauty offering to up to 3,000 products, including adding brands such as Revlon, Essie, Tweezerman and Dr. PawPaw for the first time. Brands the supermarket already carries, such as L’Oreal, Maybelline and Burt’s Bees, will be extended into branded areas in the style of a Boots or Superdrug store.
Perfume retailer the Fragrance Shop opened the first of two concessions in Sainsbury’s stores last week in Croydon, south London, with plans to open a second Selly Oak, Birmingham later this year.
Sainsbury’s will also be relaunching its own-brand Boutique makeup collection as a largely vegan-friendly range to appeal to younger shoppers.
This move deeper into the beauty business reflects the ambition, voiced by chief executive Mike Coupe, to make Sainsbury’s supermarkets look more like department stores, creating a destination for shoppers which also includes retail space given over to Argos, Habitat and telecoms business EE.
Selfridges credits £300 million revamp for sales boost
Selfridges has credited the £300 million revamp of its Oxford Street flagship for helping the luxury department store reach record profits for the fifth consecutive year.
Sales increased by 11.5% to more than £1.75bn in the year to February 3, while operating earnings rose to a record £181m, according to reports in The Times.
Managing director Anne Pitcher said sales had been boosted by the newly extended 60,000sq ft accessories and beauty hall at its London flagship and the creation of an “eyewear destination” offering the largest selection of glasses in Britain.
The department store also created an android app, launched a Chinese-language website and will this month unveil a new experience-led menswear department at its Oxford Street store.
Speaking to The Times, Pitcher said she was “absolutely convinced” that there was a place for great luxury department stores, adding that all Selfridges’ stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester had attracted new visitors and the retailer saw “outstanding growth” in its digital business. She put the success down to the amount of time the company focuses on the experiences it offers in store.
MPs call for Zuckerberg to face questions after Facebook reveals latest data breach
MPs are demanding that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg travels to the UK to face questioning in the wake of revelations of a fresh data breach affecting 50 million users.
Calling out Zuckerberg’s “terrible disrespect” for the data of citizens, MPs have told The Telegraph they want answers as to how data from millions of users could be exposed to hackers, in the biggest cyber-attack on the social media platform since it was founded in 2004.
Hackers were apparently able to access the accounts due to a security flaw that had remained open for more than a year. Attackers were able to steal “access tokens”, a security key that allows users to stay logged into Facebook over multiple browsing sessions. Having the key would allow hackers to take full control of a user’s account.
Although the breach was discovered by Facebook on 25 September, the company did not go public with the news until three days later.
Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, Damian Collins, said that the latest data breach shows “more clearly than ever” why Mark Zuckerberg should face public scrutiny “about the practices and policies his company employs to keep British users’ data safe.”
Despite being summoned three times by Parliament to testify in front of the select committee on issues such as fake news and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Zuckerberg has always refused to attend in person.
Elon Musk steps down as Tesla chairman
Elon Musk has agreed to step down as Tesla chairman after reaching a deal with US regulators following tweets posted in August suggesting he planned to take the electric vehicle firm private.
While he can remain as Tesla CEO, the deal stipulates Musk must step down as chairman for three years and pay a $20m (£15m) fine. Musk has also agreed to comply with company communications procedures when tweeting about the firm.
The agreement was reached after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on 27 September it planned to sue Musk for alleged securities fraud.
The fraud row relates to a tweet posted in August when Musk said he was considering taking Tesla private and had “funding secured”, which would value the business at $420 per share. The SEC alleges those claims were “false and misleading”.
An independent chairman will now be appointed to preside over the company’s board.
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