Stelios Haji-Ioannou has slammed Orange’s court case against his easyMobile venture as “spurious” while claiming his service offers consumers a better deal, ahead of a court hearing on November 20.
Orange is accusing its rival of infringing its trademark by using the colour orange.
But Stelios says/ “easyMobile is now a fifth of the price of Orange for communications between our customers and remains less than half the price of Orange for calls between networks.
“That’s the real reason they are taking us to court on the spurious claim that we should be stopped from using the colour orange. What Orange is really frightened of is that easyMobile is offering consumers a better deal.” He was speaking as easyMobile unveiled a pricing plan it claims offers the best value in the pay-as-you-go market.
An Orange spokesman says: “Our brand, and the rights associated with it, are important to us. After six months of negotiation with easyMobile we were unable to secure a commitment from them not to infringe our rights so we were left with no choice but to proceed with court action.”
Stelios vowed to shake up the mobile industry with the launch of easyMobile in an exclusive interview with Marketing Week last year (MW March 3, 2005).
Last month, the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which started by selling SIM cards over the internet, launched a range of handsets in high street stores (MW March 2).