Food retailer Iceland is sending a “high-level” delegation to Iceland the country for negotiations after an outbreak of hostilities over use of the trademarked name.
The Icelandic government has claimed the supermarket has “aggressively pursued” companies that have tried to use the word Iceland as part of a trademark.
The supermarket owns the Europe-wide trademark registration for the word Iceland, but the Icelandic government said that this is "exceptionally broad and ambiguous in definition, often rendering the country’s firms unable to describe their products as Icelandic.”
A statement from Iceland Foods said: “Following the regrettable outbreak of legal and verbal hostilities last week, the UK retailer Iceland Foods is 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 that had prevailed for the previous 46 years.”
The company said close relations were underlined when Iceland CEO Malcolm Walker welcomed then Icelandic Prime Minister Halldor Asgrimsson on an official visit to Iceland’s Fulham Road store in London in 2006.
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.
“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.”