Iceland versus Iceland in trade mark dispute

UK supermarket giant Iceland is locked in a trade mark dispute with the European country of the same name, according to reports.

The Government of the country has announced that it will proceed with legal action against the Iceland Foods retailer on grounds that its brand name prevents firms operating in the nation of Iceland from describing their products as ‘Icelandic’.

Iceland Foods founder and chief executive Malcolm Walker says that the supermarket chain has sent a delegation to Icelandic capital Reykjavik – but has so far failed to reach an amicable agreement with the country.

In a statement, Mr Walker said: “Iceland Foods had Icelandic majority shareholders and Icelandic representatives on its board for seven years to 2012. At no point in all those years did any representative of Iceland (the country) raise the slightest concern about our company’s branding”.

He added that previous attempts to liaise with the Icelandic Government had been unsuccessful, as the nation appears to have “no interest in reaching a compromise”.

Last week, the Icelandic foreign ministry said: “The registration of a country name that enjoys highly positive national branding to a private company defies logic and is untenable”.

The country’s Government has stressed that it will continue to proceed with legal action.