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"Iceland" issue a matter of principle

2.12.2016

Representatives of the Government of Iceland and Icelandic stakeholders today met with representatives from the UK supermarket Iceland Foods to discuss their registration of the word ‘Iceland' with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

At the meeting Iceland Foods stated that it refused to relinquish exclusive control of the word “Iceland” and presented proposals that fell short of Iceland's expectations. Legal action to invalidate the exclusive registration of the wordmark ‘Iceland' held by Iceland Foods at the EUIPO that started in November will proceed.

The  registration of a country name that enjoys highly positive national branding to a private company defies logic and is untenable as it hinders companies and entities to register their products with their country of origin. This issue is a matter of principle with important global implications for trade in goods and services and Icelandic authorities will bring it up at the relevant international level.

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