Frozen food giant Iceland is going to court with the European country of the same name in the latest part of its long-running trademark row.

Iceland Foods has fought for years to trademark the Nordic Island’s name but has met resistance from the government of Iceland which says doing so would prevent the country’s businesses from referring to their products as Icelandic.

Iceland says that is not the case as people would know not to mix up the supermarket and the country.

The frozen food specialist registered the brand Iceland with the EU Intellectual Property Office in 2016.

READ MORE: HSL COMPLIANCE COMPLETES TAKE OVER AS IT COVERS ALL OF THE UK

The country of Iceland was then awarded a ruling by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in 2019 that invalidated the exclusivity of Iceland Foods’ EU trademark registration.

The case has now been taken to the Grand Board of the EUIPO, hearing began last week.

Margrét Hjálmarsdóttir, a senior lawyer of the Icelandic Intellectual Property Office, said if the country lost the case “it would mean that Icelandic companies might not be able to use the word Iceland in their trademarks to identify the products they are selling.”

READ MORE: DHL ECOMMERCE SOLUTIONS SELECTS FIVES TO SUPPORT UK BUSINESS GROWTH IN £560 MILLION PROJECT

Iceland Foods’ managing director Richard Walker has said the supermarket will “vigorously defend” its intellectual property rights, Grocery Gazette reports.

Richard Walker has said: “Our business is family-owned and was named Iceland Foods by my mother, the late Lady Walker. We have traded successfully under our name in the UK since 1970, and today it is one of the UK’s most recognised brands.

“We had sincerely hoped that we would be able to avoid last week’s hearing and reach an amicable agreement. While we will vigorously defend Iceland Foods’ intellectual property rights where there is any risk of confusion between our business and those of another business, this would not restrict Icelandic producers from describing goods or services as coming from Iceland.”

READ MORE: BREWDOG OWNER JAMES WATT BLASTS UK’S ‘ZOMBIE GOVERNMENT’ AND SAYS COUNTRY COULD LOSE HALF ITS PUBS AND BARS

“We have been trading successfully for over 50 years under the name Iceland and do not believe that any serious confusion or conflict has ever arisen in the public mind between our business or Iceland the country, or is likely to do so.

“Iceland Foods is proud of its legacy, serving customers who rely on us for affordable products, particularly in times when the cost of living is increasing at an alarming rate.”

Need Career Advice? Get employment skills advice at all levels of your career

A decision in the case is not expected until early next year. Even then, it might not be over. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the case may be heard by the European Court of Justice, the EU’s highest court.

Source: The Pembrokeshire Herald

Follow us on YouTubeTwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.