Monday, January 20, 2020

Iceland vs Iceland: who will win the trademark dispute?


Frozen food grocer Iceland could face a lawsuit from the Icelandic government, which calling for a ban on using the name in the European Union.

According to the Icelandic press, Promote Iceland, the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and SA Business Iceland are considering a lawsuit against the supermarket chain.

Plans for the legal action are being drawn up by patent attorneys Arnason Faktor who will decide whether to launch the action next Tuesday.

The grocer reportedly protests when Promote Iceland attempt to register the country‘s name as a trademark in product categories which overlap with the supermarket‘s own goods.

When the supermarket attempts to exclude the country from using the name as a trademark, it benefits from the country‘s positive media coverage.

This follows a massively successful Twitter campaign for the supermarket off the back of the Icelandic football team‘s success. 

RELATED: Iceland’s full-year results reflect “extremely challenging” grocery market

“It’s been crazy. We‘ve seen well over 100 million impressions and reached over 15 million people, while our videos with the Iceland football team have been viewed around one million times on our social channels,” Iceland Foods social media manager Andy Thompson said at the time.

Visir reports that Bergþóra Halldórsdóttir, a lawyer for SA Business added: “The complaint is not about the British supermarket chain having named its stores after our country, but what we find unfortunate is that Iceland Foods has not only registered its logo, but the word Iceland itself.”

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