War Of The Nerds: Iceland Vs. Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

War Of The Nerds: Iceland Vs. Iceland

War Of The Nerds: Iceland Vs. Iceland

Hannah Jane Cohen
Photos by
Adobe Stock Photos

Remember that time you got drunk and copyrighted the word ‘Macedonia’ and then got super rich by suing every history textbook that mentioned Alexander the Great? No, you don’t, because that’s absurd. Oh wait, just kidding, it can happen, and fuck up your whole life—or better yet—your whole country. And better yet again, it did happen—right here in Iceland.

So hello, Iceland Foods, supermarket of sadness. Welcome to your tape.

Capitalist pigs

Here’s the deal. In 874, the country of Iceland was settled. Years later, in 1970, some bullshit Brits created the supermarket Iceland Foods and trademarked the name Iceland in the entirety of Europe. First question: How drunk was the guy who allowed someone to trademark the name of a country?

“Welcome to your tape, Iceland Foods.”

Anyway, because the supermarket is run by capitalist Viking-haters, they’ve since used their trademark to wreak havoc on Icelandic companies and even the Icelandic tourism board. For instance, Icelandic fish exporters cannot put the word Iceland on their fish packages as that is apparently violating the trademark. Travel companies are having worse problems with advertising the country because, yes, apparently if you use the word ‘Iceland’ in your marketing, people will easily be confused and arrive in our beautiful country looking to find groceries rather than waterfalls.

EU? Ew!

It gets worse. Because this is happening in the EU, it is apparently going to take years to work out the trademark dispute. Yes, that’s right, years. And you wonder why Brexit happened?

Just imagine if we trademarked the term Grapevine and then sued the bejesus out of anyone who played Marvin Gaye at their wedding. Wait—that’s actually quite an idea we just leaked. We had better trademark it fast.


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