Iceland (the store) has sent a delegation to Iceland (the country) to discuss a trademark dispute over the use of “Iceland” with the Icelandic government.
The Guardian reports that the frozen food retailer has sent a “high-level delegation” to Reykjavík to meet with government representatives to discuss the dispute and to try to arrive at a resolution.
“We registered Iceland as our company name in 1970 and we have coexisted with the country called Iceland very happily ever since,” Iceland founder and CEO Malcolm Walker told reporters. “They have made no contact with us to raise any concerns about trademark issues since 2012. We have no desire whatsoever to stand in the way of Iceland the country making use of their own name to promote their own products, so long as it does not conflict or cause confusion with our own business. I am sure there is ample scope for an agreement that will allow both parties to continue to live and work amicably alongside each other.”
The Icelandic government, on the other hand, contends that Iceland (the store) has “aggressively pursued” lawsuits against Icelandic companies abroad that use “Iceland” in their name.
As reported, the Icelandic government has lodged a legal complaint with the EU’s Intellectual Property Office over the use of “Iceland”.
“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.”
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