Iceland Wins Trade Mark Dispute Against Iceland Skip to content

Iceland Wins Trade Mark Dispute Against Iceland

By Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir

Iceland supermarket
Photo: Golli. Iceland supermarket in Iceland.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)’s Grand Board of appeal has confirmed the EUIPO’s 2019 ruling that UK-based supermarket chain Iceland Foods Ltd. trademark on the word “Iceland” within the European Union be invalidated.

In 2016, The Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs, SA – Business Iceland and Íslandsstofa filed a request for a declaration of invalidity against Iceland Foods Ltd’s EU-wide trademark for the word Iceland. According to a press release from the Confederation of Enterprises, Iceland Foods, which registered the trademark in 2014, has hindered Icelandic companies in using their country of origin in the marketing of their products and services. They give an example of the supermarket chain finding issue with the registry of trademarks such as INSPIRED BY ICELAND  and ICELANDIC.

In 2019, EUIPO ruled in favour of Iceland – the country – and invalidated the supermarket’s trademark entirely, noting that “It has been adequately shown that consumers in EU countries know that Iceland is a country in Europe and also that the country has historical and economic ties to EU countries, in addition to geographic proximity.” According to the ruling, Iceland Foods LTD were free to continue the use of their name and logo but could not prohibit Icelandic companies to use the country name. Iceland Foods LTD appealed the decision to the EUIPO’s Grand Board of Appeal, which has now confirmed the ruling.

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