Iceland V. Iceland Heating Up - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland V. Iceland Heating Up

Published November 24, 2016

Photos by
Adcro/Wikimedia Commons

Iceland (the country) is launching a legal challenge against Iceland (the store) over the use of the word “Iceland”.

SkyNews reports that as Iceland (the store) has refused to back down from using “Iceland”, Iceland (the country) has decided to take things to the next level.

“The government of Iceland is concerned that our country’s businesses are unable to promote themselves across Europe in association with their place of origin – a place of which we are rightly proud and enjoys a very positive national branding,” a statement from the government reads in part. “This untenable situation has caused harm to Icelandic businesses, especially its small and growing companies. A company or product made in Iceland or by an Icelandic company should be able to represent itself using the name of the country.”

As such, the Icelandic government has lodged a legal complaint with the EU’s Intellectual Property Office. The government adds that Iceland (the store) has “aggressively pursued” lawsuits against Icelandic companies abroad that use “Iceland” in their name.

Iceland (the store) appear completely undisturbed by the news, telling reporters, “While we will vigorously defend Iceland Foods’ established rights where there is any risk of confusion between our business and Iceland the country, we have been trading successfully for 46 years under the name Iceland and do not believe that any serious confusion or conflict has ever arisen in the public mind, or is likely to do so.”

By all accounts, this legal battle will be hotly contested.

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