News that Della Burnside is leaving easyGroup has shocked the IP fraternity. A quick consensus check reveals that Burnside is one of the most highly respected in-house IP practitioners out there.

Burnside is leaving to take the legal post at the GSM Association, a mobile telecoms industry group.

Surprisingly, no one had more praise for Burnside than David Hansel, the Memery Crystal IP partner who launched a practice to fight against easyGroup in trademark disputes.

In the summer easyGroup defended itself in a High Court trademark dispute against internet service provider easynet, owned by BSkyB. It was Hansel’s third major matter against easyGroup after fights for easyart and easypizza.

But a reconciliation is in sight between these two apparent mortal enemies. Hansel himself did some work for the GSM Association in the mid-1990s and said he would enjoy working with, rather than against, Burnside – a lawyer he admires greatly.

So where does all this leave easyGroup? It just so happens it has a new head of IP in Anthony Robb-John, who joins as the managing director for easyGroup IP, the brand holding company. If easyGroup continues its strong stance on the protection of the word ‘easy’, Hansel and Robb-John may end up seeing quite a lot of each other.Get the latest news and an irreverent commentary delivered to your desktop every Wednesday by subscribing to Lawyer News Weekly.

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