Iceland vs Iceland: Retailer to fly to country for talks

By Matt Atherton

- Last updated on GMT

Iceland Foods wants to find an 'early resolution' to legal row
Iceland Foods wants to find an 'early resolution' to legal row

Related tags Iceland foods Iceland

Iceland Foods is preparing to fly to Reykjavik to begin talks with the Icelandic government over its legal challenge on the retailer’s name.

Iceland Foods said it was urgently seeking a meeting with the Foreign Ministry of Iceland to lay out “constructive proposals for resumption of the peaceful coexistence between the company and country”​.

While the retailer wanted to meet with government officials, it continued to say it hadn’t been contacted over trade mark issues. The Icelandic government claimed it had made multiple efforts to negotiate.

‘They have made no contact with us’

Iceland founder and ceo Malcolm Walker said: “We registered Iceland as our company name in 1970, and we have coexisted with the country called Iceland very happily ever since. They have made no contact with us to raise any concerns about trade mark 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 that there is ample scope for an agreement that will allow both parties to continue to live and work amicably alongside each other.”

Iceland Foods said it had a “warm relationship”​ with the country, and had three Iceland stores in the country. It claimed to supply other retailers in the country, and sponsored the Iceland football team in this year’s European Football Championships in France (see tweet below).

‘Positive response and early resolution’

“A high level delegation from Iceland ​[the company] is preparing to fly to Reykjavik this week to begin negotiations, and we very much hope for a positive response and an early resolution of this issue.

The Icelandic government launched its legal action against Iceland Foods last week​ (November 24). It claimed Icelandic businesses were “caused harm”​ as they couldn’t promote themselves with their place of origin.

A government of Iceland statement said at the time: “The government is taking this step because Iceland Foods has aggressively pursued and won multiple cases against Icelandic companies which use ‘Iceland' in their representation, or as part of their trademark, even in cases when the products and services do not compete.”

Iceland vs Iceland – at a glance

  • November 29 – Iceland Foods prepares to fly to Iceland to resolve legal row
  • November 24 – Icelandic government launches legal action over Iceland Foods’s name, claiming Icelandic businesses were caused harm
  • September – Icelandic government first considers legal action over Iceland Foods’s name

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